PinkNews Awards 2018: Theresa May says GRA consultation shows ‘real desire’ for reform

In a video filmed for the PinkNews Awards 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May reaffirmed her support for the public consultation over reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA).

The consultation on the government’s proposed review of the GRA will close on Friday.

In a video screened at the PinkNews Awards 2018 on Wednesday (October 17), the prime minister said: “This week we will also complete our consultation on plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, and the thousands of responses we’ve received so far show there’s a real desire for reform.”

The government has previously said it wants to de-medicalise the process to legally change genders.

This means it could introduce a self-identification system, which is used in other countries like the Republic of Ireland, Norway and Denmark.

Currently, trans people have to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate—after being medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria and proving that they have lived in their “acquired gender” for at least two years—in order to legally change gender.

Trans campaigners have criticised the process for being overly bureaucratic, intrusive and dehumanising.

Watch the video below:

May, who became the first serving prime minister to attend the PinkNews Awards last year, also highlighted the results of the government’s national LGBT+ survey, which were released in July.

More than 100,000 people responded to the survey, the largest research of its kind in the world, which revealed that more than two thirds (68 percent) of respondents said they had avoided holding hands in public with a same-sex partner because they feared a negative reaction.

Following the results of the survey, the government released a 75-point LGBT action plan, vowing to outlaw gay ‘cure’ therapy and pledging to appoint a national LGBT health advisor.

In the video, May said this survey “enabled us to understand, better than ever, the experiences of LGBT people in the UK.”

The prime minister went on to talk about the recent announcement that civil partnerships will be extended to include heterosexual couples, saying: “We are making sure that all couples, be they same-sex or opposite-sex, are given the same choices in life.”

She continued: “This is all vital work. I want the United Kingdom to be a country that works for everyone, no matter who you love or how you identify.”

May dances to ABBA at the Conservative Party Conference on October 3, 2018. (Paul ELLIS/AFP/Getty)

Elsewhere, the prime minister discussed meeting with the Commonwealth heads of governments since last year’s PinkNews Awards, where they talked about “the need to reform legislation that in many parts of the world still criminalises same-sex relationships.”

Acknowledging the impact of the British Empire, she added: “These laws were often the result of the legacy left by the UK, and so I offered our support to member states, seeking to reform such outdated legislation.”

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrats leader Vince Cable attended the event, along with Celebrity Big Brother winner Shane Jenek aka Courtney Act, singer Will Young and BBC broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, among other stars.

The PinkNews Awards were held on October 17 at Church House, Westminster, London.

The PinkNews Awards is supported by Lloyds Banking Group.