February 3, 2020

Scottish Government Consults on the Gender Recognition Reform Bill


Let the Scottish Government know that Trans Youth
need effective access to legal gender recognition.

The Scottish government recognizes that, pursuant to international human rights law, it has to have a system in place for obtaining legal gender recognition. Consequently, for the past 15 years, trans persons in Scotland have been able to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate. The procedure for doing so, however, has been characterised as demeaning, lengthy, stressful and excluding of trans youth. On the 17th December of 2019, the Scottish Government launched a consultation for the draft Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

The government’s commitment to reform this process is welcomed and deemed urgent by local trans rights organisations, such as the Scottish Trans Alliance: “… reform of the Gender Recognition Act is so desperately needed. The current system medicalises trans identities, and does not include recognition of non-binary people or of trans young people. These barriers mean that many trans people live without the critical legal paperwork that shows the state recognises who they are. While what the Scottish Government is proposing isn’t perfect, it will be a big improvement on the current law. We know that opponents of trans equality will be taking part in the consultation to reject any progress at all. We need allies, experts and activists to take part and make a strong case for why the Scottish Government should not only move to a system of self-declaration, but should go further and make sure non-binary people and under 16s can gain legal recognition as well.” (Source: https://www.scottishtrans.org/being-trans-2019/)

LGBT Youth Scotland, an IGLYO member organisation, calls upon its partners and allies to give their view on the Scottish Government’s draft Gender Recognition Reform Bill. Paul Daly, Policy and Research Manager at LGBT Youth Scotland said “Scotland is in a unique position and must grasp this opportunity to show leadership. Progressive reform will see Scotland join the likes of Ireland and Malta as pioneers other countries can point to when calling for their own gender recognition reform. The Scottish Government needs robust evidence as to why this legislative change should pass in Scotland, so we encourage consultation responses from international organisations and individuals who can share their expertise and experiences.“. To that end, LGBT Youth Scotland developed a helpful consultation brief, designed to guide partners and allies through the consultation process.

IGLYO hopes that trans youth and non-binary people, in an outside of Scotland, will contribute to the consultation. The need for Legal Gender Recognition that is inclusive of non-binary people and youth is of critical importance.

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