GRA Scotland reform: Poll suggests widespread public support for making it easier to legally change gender
Within weeks, the Scottish Government is expected to introduce legislation to “speed up and simplify” the legal gender recognition process under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act.
The survey of 2,000 adults carried out by Savanta ComRes for BBC Scotland indicated general support for the move with 57% for and 20% against.
Trans people currently have to live two years in their gender before they can apply to register the change. The reform hopes to change that to six months.
Yet, opinion still remains divided on the speeding up of the process as well as the proposal to remove the need for a medical diagnosis.
The plan to reduce the legal age for gender recognition from 18 to 16 saw less than a third respondents in favour and just over half against.
Vic Valentine from the Scottish Trans Alliance told the BBC: “I’m really pleased to hear that overall there is a majority of people who would support making it easier for trans people to change the sex on our birth certificates.
“When we have the opportunity to talk to people about what the reforms are all about and why the changes are needed, we often find that people are pretty supportive about the fact that the situation should be made easier for us.”
The poll did indicate a generational divide with younger people and women more in favour of gender reform than older people and men.
Professor Sir John Curtice from Strathclyde University said: “If the views of the under 35s are indicative of the direction we are going, it may well be in ten or twenty years time what at the moment is the subject of intense debate perhaps will become less so.”
The poll showed that many people said they were not following recent debate over the GRA reform, with 67% of people saying they were not following closely and 31% saying they were.
It also suggested more support for trans people accessing single-sex changing rooms with 61% in agreement and 10% disagreeing.
However, such spaces would still be protected separately through the Equality Act 2010.
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