Government response to Gender Recognition Act now due ‘later this year’

The Government Equalities Office has announced it will issue a response to the public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) “later this year,” having previously said this would be ready in spring 2019.

A LGBT Action Plan progress report released on Thursday (July 4) states that the Government Equalities Office is still analysing the results of the consultation, which was responded to by more than 100,000 people last year.

Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt said that the LGBT Policy Team would publish its response to the GRA “shortly,” alongside findings on a Call for Evidence on issues faced by people with variations in sex characteristics.

It will also report on its research into the number of young trans people in the UK, and on how it will end conversion therapy.

Mordaunt said: “These issues are of the upmost priority, not just for me, but across government and I am determined to make the changes that will improve the lives of LGBT people in this country.”

We want to make sure that we get the right response.

It’s hoped that a reform of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act will uphold and improve rights for trans and non-binary people in the UK.

The public consultation closed on October 22, 2018, and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Victoria Atkins,  previously told PinkNews that the government hoped to publish a response in spring this year.

She said: “As you’ll appreciate, 100,000 responses — it takes a bit of time to work through. Also, we want to make sure that we get the right response and it is in that response we will set out the next steps.”

The continuing wait could be due in part to research being commissioned this summer on adolescents transitioning gender, and the reasons for the increase in adolescents wanting to transition, particularly those assigned female at birth.

Government claims “significant progress” on LGBT Action Plan

Despite the delay, the progress report asserts: “We have made significant progress in delivering the LGBT Action Plan’s commitments this year.”

It announced plans for a number of initiatives relating to LGBT+ healthcare, including specialist Trans Health Units which will manage a network of gender dysphoria clinics across the country.

In addition to this, The Royal College of Physicians has been allocated government funding to develop the UK’s first accredited training course in gender medicine, and will start accepting students later this year.

The full progress report can be read here.