Penny Mordaunt: Gender Recognition Act reform plans will be ‘out the door in the next few weeks’

The UK Defence Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt has told PinkNews that the results of the public consultation on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act will be announced: “as soon as possible.”

Speaking at the PinkNews summer reception at Church House in Westminster, London, on July 4, Mordaunt said that not only would the government announce the results of the public consultation, which received over 100,000 responses, but that she hoped they would also announce what they planned to do following the results.

“I’m hopeful that we will be able to get both the response to the consultation and what we’re planning on doing out there before the summer recess,” Mordaunt told PinkNews.

“We’re working to get it out the door as soon as possible. I’m sorry it’s taken so long, but we needed to do a proper job on it.”

The public consultation ran from 3 July 2018 to 22 October 2018.

“I’m really hoping we’ll be able to get that out the door in the next few weeks,” Mordaunt told PinkNews.

Scotland announced on June 20 that it was delaying plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and would not extend legal recognition to non-binary people, a move that disappointed campaigners.

Gender Recognition Act

The GRA is the mechanism that allows trans people to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and change the gender on their birth certificate.

Currently, trans people must prove they have lived in their gender for two years and have a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, after which their application for a GRC is approved – or refused – by a panel of people who don’t meet them.

Reforming the GRA to allow trans people to self-determine their gender when applying for a GRC, without a medical diagnosis or the need to prove their lived gender, has been called for by Stonewall and other LGBT+ organisations.

Extending legal recognition to non-binary trans people, lowering the age at which people can change their legal gender from 18 to 16 and removing restrictions that mean a person’s spouse has veto power over their gender change are also reforms called for by campaigners.

In practice, most trans people self-identify their gender in their day-to-day lives, as a GRC is not required to access gendered spaces such as bathrooms or changing rooms. But self-ID has become a cornerstone of the backlash against GRA reform from some anti-trans feminists.

Transgender self-identification backed by 56% of UK public

Fifty-six percent of people are in favour of trans people being able to self-identify their gender, according to new polling carried out for PinkNews by YouGov.

Clear public support for trans people self-identifying their gender puts pressure on the government and the next prime minister to press ahead with reforms to the GRA that will make the process of changing legal gender easier and less intrusive for trans people.

PinkNews’ Westminster reception was supported by Gilead and Octopus Group. Pride in London was the charity partner.

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