Scottish government vows to push on with transgender reforms amid Westminster delays

The Scottish government has vowed to push on with reforms to gender recognition laws, after progress was stalled in Westminster.

Last year the UK’s Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening had announced plans to review the Gender Recognition Act, a 2004 law that allows transgender people to gain legal recognition.

LGBT advocates had called for the law to be streamlined to reduce the hurdles that transgender people have to jump through to get a Gender Recognition Certificate, adopting a simpler ‘self-declaration’ system that operates in Ireland and other countries across Europe.

The review was reportedly delayed last week after an anti-transgender media campaign, with The Times reporting that the issue’s “complex and divisive” nature had led to plans being stalled.

But the Scottish government has vowed to push ahead with changes itself.

A separate consultation on reforms to the GRA has already launched in Scotland.

The Scottish consultation considers proposals to make it simpler and less intrusive for transgender people to access legal gender recognition, and considers options to give non-binary people legal recognition for the first time in the UK.

The consultation, which launched in November, will close on March 1.

SNP Equalities spokesperson Angela Crawley MP told PinkNews: “2018 will be an important year for LGBTI equality in Scotland as the Scottish Government takes action on landmark transgender equality reforms”, confirming that “the SNP government will be working to improve transgender equality in Scotland”.

Angela Raynor and Nicola Sturgeon

Angela Crawley MP with Nicola Sturgeon

She told PinkNews: “The Scottish Government’s landmark proposals to improve gender recognition laws will help make Scotland a world-leader on transgender equality, by making it simpler and less intrusive for trans people to access their human right to legal gender recognition, and by enabling non-binary people to access recognition for the first time in the UK.

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