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27 Jan, 2022 11:36

Sturgeon govt takes heat over transgender reforms plan

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has urged the Scottish government to pause its reforms
Sturgeon govt takes heat over transgender reforms plan

On Wednesday, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) took aim at Scottish plans to overhaul gender rules that would pave the way for legally permitting self-assignment.  

The EHRC, an independently operating body funded by the Government Equalities Office, told the Scottish government that “more detailed consideration is needed” before moving ahead with its proposals. 

Chairwoman Baroness Kishwer Falkner noted her concerns, including “those relating to the collection and use of data, participation and drug testing in competitive sport, measures to address barriers facing women and practices within the criminal justice system.” 

While accepting the need to “urgently” improve gender identity services in the UK, she suggested that the current set of rules were the best possible option. 

“The established legal concept of sex, together with the existing protections from gender reassignment discrimination for trans people and the ability for them to obtain legal recognition of their gender, collectively provide the correct balanced legal framework that protects everyone,” Falkner stated. 

The Scottish government has already conducted two consultations on its plans and is expected to present a bill at Holyrood in 2022. 

The government’s proposed changes would mean people no longer need to be evaluated by the UK Gender Recognition Panel. Instead, applicants could apply to Registrar General for Scotland or provide a medical record of gender dysphoria. 

The process of changing gender could be reduced from two years to three months plus a further three-month “reflection period.”

The proposals have been heavily criticized with many people questioning how they will impact women-only services.