Government office kicks gender law reform into long grass

Reforms to gender identity laws have been delayed and an announcement on the public response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation will not be made before parliament goes into recess, according to the government’s equalities office.

On July 4, the Tory minister for women and equalities, Penny Mordaunt, told PinkNews that the results of the public consultation on reforms to the GRA would be announced “as soon as possible.”

“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.

But a GEO spokesman told PinkNews on July 24 that this would not be happening.

In a statement to PinkNews, a GEO spokesman said: “It is vital that the next steps on any potential reform of the Gender Recognition Act are carefully planned, and have the right backing so they can have a positive impact on the trans community in the UK.

“We had more than 100,000 responses to our consultation and have met with 140 organisations to ensure that we have taken into account views and concerns from all sides of the debate. We will announce more detail on our proposed next steps in due course.”

The results of the public consultation and the government’s planned reforms to the GRA are now expected to be announced by the end of 2019.

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

Gender law reform also delayed in Scotland

This news comes one month after the Scottish government also delayed its own plans to reform gender laws.

Scottish equalities minister Shirley-Anne Somerville also said that Scotland would not be extending legal recognition to non-binary transgender people.

The Scottish Government’s consultation on gender recognition was open from 9 November 2017 to 1 March 2018, receiving 15,697 responses.

A 62 percent majority said that Scotland should take action to legally recognise non-binary people.