Majority of consultation respondents oppose controversial gender reform plans

Almost 60 per cent of respondents to a consultation on reforming the gender recognition process in Scotland have said they disagree with the proposals.

More than 10,000 submissions were received by Holyrood’s equalities, human rights and civil justice committee after it issued a call for views.

Ministers say the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill is about “simplifying and improving the process for a trans person to gain legal recognition”.

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It will require applicants to make a legally binding declaration that they intend to live permanently in their acquired gender.

The Scottish Government wants to reform the gender recognition process

They will no longer need to provide medical reports or evidence, and the process will be substantially quicker.

The Bill will also lower the age at which trans people can obtain the relevant document from 18 to 16.

Supporters say the move will streamline a process many find distressing, but critics have raised concerns self-identification will undermine women’s sex-based rights, such as access to women-only spaces.

Of 10,800 individual responses to a short survey on the proposals, 59 per cent said they disagreed with the overall purpose of the Bill, while 38 per cent agreed.

More than 60 per cent supported the requirement for “a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria or supporting documentation”.

A similar majority disagreed with moves to cut the period in which an applicant is required to live in their acquired gender from two years to three months, with a reflection period of a further three months before a certificate is granted.

More than 60 per cent said the minimum age for applicants should not be reduced from 18 to 16, while a similar proportion said they anticipated negative impacts from the provisions in the Bill.

A document outlining the findings notes: “This survey data is based on 10,800 self-selecting respondents and is not intended to be representative of public opinion.”

It says 30 per cent of respondents lived outside Scotland.

Those in favour of the Bill argued it provides trans people with the “rights they deserve” and would make the gender recognition process less intrusive, with similar legislation in other countries leading to no ill effects.

Those against it raised issues such as the safeguarding of single sex spaces, the “erosion of women’s rights” and the impact on women’s sport.

More than 800 detailed submissions were also received by the committee.

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