Gender Recognition Act consultation deadline extended after site crashes

The public consultation for the government’s proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) has been extended to noon on Monday (October 22), after several people reported struggling to get on to the site.

A number of Twitter users complained that they were unable to access the GRA consultation form on a government website on Friday afternoon (October 19), a few hours before the initial 11pm deadline.

The issue has since been addressed by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) on its official Twitter account.

The GRA deadline has been extended. (WomenEqualities/Twitter)

“Some people are having difficulty accessing the GRA consultation due to a high number of submissions,” the Women and Equalities Office wrote in a statement.

“We are ensuring everyone can take part by extending the deadline to noon Monday 22 Oct.”

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.

Twitter users complained about being unable to access the government website. (Sarah_Hayward/Twitter)

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

Social media posted about being unable to access the public consultation website. 

The deadline has been extended to Monday October 22. (Sara_Rose_G/Twitter)

One Twitter user vented: “Trying to fill out the GRA consultation but the website is refusing to go beyond the first page in any browser. Internet otherwise working fine. This is extremely frustrating.”

Another Twitter user said: “Is anyone else having trouble filling in the GRA consultation through the website? loads of people I know are? Like it’s not loading past the first page. What’s this about / how do we complain?”

And one person wrote: “Hi @Govt_Equality do you know how slow the GRA consultation pages are running? Guess like me lot of ppl are last minute charlies, any chance of doing something about it? Add bandwidth/extend deadline etc?”

A GEO spokesperson confirmed to PinkNews that the deadline had been extended, adding that more than 53,000 responses have been received so far.

The spokesperson told PinkNews: “We know some people are having issues with completing the Gender Recognition Act consultation.

“We want everyone to be able to have their say. In light of high volume and difficulty accessing the portal we are extending the consultation deadline to 12 noon Monday 22 October. Those who are experiencing difficulties completing the response online can submit their consultation response by email.

The spokesperson added: “The company hosting the consultation is actively working to resolve the issues with the site. The consultation, which has been running since 3 July, has already received over 53,000 responses.”

The consultation pack can be downloaded here.

Responses to the questions found in the pack can be submitted by email to [email protected].