Speaking at Westminster Hall on Monday, Mhairi Black said a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) only helps “in a handful of legal situations” such as marriage taxes and death and claimed most issues people have with the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) reform stem from their issues with self-ID covered separately in the Equality Act.
The SNP MP said: “[The certificate] is nothing to do with prisons. A GRC is not required to update the sex on your passport or your driver’s licence.
"A GRC is not required to use single sex spaces such as toilets or changing rooms and what we do know is that the current process is deeply invasive, traumatising, unnecessary and dehumanising.”
Last year the SNP and Scottish Greens agreed a Bill to reform the 2004 GRA would be introduced to the Scottish Parliament in the first year of the parliamentary session.
The GRA governs how trans people can attain legal gender recognition. The proposed reforms to the Act would make it easier for a person to change their legally recognised sex.
Proposed changes would mean applicants would no longer have to go before or submit documents to the UK Gender Recognition Panel or produce a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
Many concerns expressed by groups are based on the impact the legislation could have on women-only spaces.
However, pro GRA groups claim such spaces would still be protected separately through the Equality Act 2010.
Ms Black said: “Self-ID is not a new concept. It’s the right all of us have to identify who we are.
“Every time you fill in a form you are self-identifying your nationality, your sexual orientation, your religion.
"The Equality Act in 2010 made explicit that trans people also have the right to self ID and it laid out exemptions for single sex providers if any issues were ever to arise.
“We hear claims that women’s rights are being threatened. Well I am a woman, I don’t feel threatened. If anything, the thing that makes me feel most threatened is quite often the very aggressive – and often male – anonymous accounts who proclaim to be defending me from something.”
A recent Savanta ComRes survey indicated general support for making the GRA process easier in Scotland, with 57 per cent for and 20 per cent against. A further 18 per cent said they had no opinion and 5 per cent said they did not know.
The poll of around 2,000 respondents also indicated younger people and women are more in favour of gender reform than older people and men.
There have also been three public consultations which have shown general support for reform in Scotland, particularly and consistently amongst women.
GRA reform is one of the most consulted-on pieces of legislation in the history of the Scottish Parliament.
Ms Black said the Act’s reform had been delayed as it had become “a breeding ground for disinformation, radicalisation and the rollback of already established LGBT+ rights”.
She said: “If we don’t pursue these reforms, all I can say chair is I hope history judges us as harshly as we deserve.”