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Theresa May launches long-awaited transgender consultation despite anti-trans backlash

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The government has finally launched a much-anticipated consultation on gender recognition procedures for transgender people.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced a year ago that the government would seek to make changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, to simplify the bureaucratic process for transgender people to change their legal gender on their birth certificate.

The consultation was originally set to launch in 2017, but has suffered from repeated delays amid strong backlash from some media commentators and self-identified radical feminist campaigners.

However it was finally launched today by equalities minister Penny Mordaunt, who also this week set out an LGBT Action Plan vowing to outlaw gay ‘cure’ therapy.

British Prime Minister Theresa May (Matt Dunham – WPA Pool/Getty)

The government cited the results of the national LGBT survey, which showed many trans people find the process of applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate “overly bureaucratic and expensive.”

The 16-week consultation, which affects England and Wales, will look at ways to reduce “the time and cost for people applying” for legal gender recognition.

The government is considering changes to current stipulations that require trans people to have their gender recognition signed off by doctors, obtain consent from their spouse, ‘prove’ they have lived in their chosen gender for two years, and pay £140.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Last year I committed to carrying out a consultation on the Gender Recognition Act and I’m pleased to be able to launch that today.

“What was very clear from our survey is that transgender people across the UK find the process of legally changing their gender overly bureaucratic and invasive.

“I want to see a process that is more streamlined and de-medicalised – because being trans should never be treated as an illness.”

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