The Gender Recognition Act (GRA) is legislation which requires that a person must have a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and live as the acquired gender for two years before applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate. This GRC then allows a new birth certificate in the acquired gender to be issued and the person to be recognised in law, for most purposes, as the acquired gender. See this page for more information on women’s and trans rights in law.
The GRA is a devolved law and the Scottish Government held a public consultation last year on their proposed amendments – analysis of the responses is given here. More recently, the Cabinet Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville gave a Parliament statement announcing the intention to introduce a Bill to remove the medical requirement and proposing a three month period living as the acquired gender before making a statutory declaration to be legally recognised as the acquired gender. After a three month reflection period a GRC can be issued and the birth certificate changed accordingly.
We believe that humans cannot change sex and allowing a system of self-declaration of sex to an unknown number of people undermines the definition of ‘women’ and ‘female’ and makes it impossible to apply the provisions in the Equality Act 2010 which allow for important single-sex services and spaces. Some trans lobby groups have already given incorrect information to local authorities and other organisations which has resulted in self-id policies which erode our sex-based rights.
It’s really important we all contact our MSPs to let them know our concerns with the proposed changes.
Our experience shows that meeting face-to-face is more successful than writing long letters. So our advice is to send a quick email saying you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss the proposed changes to the GRA because of concerns regarding the protection of women’s and girls’ spaces/girlguides/policies in schools, etc. (whatever concerns you the most).
We all have one constituency MSP and seven regional MSPs. Put your postcode into theyworkforyou.com/scotland to find yours. It’s a fair amount of work but it is worth contacting ALL eight of them – after all, they will each get a vote on this at Parliament.
We produced these briefing notes earlier this year which may be useful to email or discuss with your MSPs.
(We know they’re a bit out of date now and will update them soon!)
We would love to hear about your MSPs response. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org