Scottish 15-year-olds will be able to start the process of legally changing their gender without parental consent after the SNP blocked Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to exclude transgender children from transgender legislation.
The ruling party yesterday confirmed plans for young Scots to change their legal gender when they turn 16.
The Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill will now remove the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria in order to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).
Similarly, the minimum age of applicants would be reduced to 16 years and the time required for the applicant to live in the assumed gender would be reduced from two years to three months – six for 16 and 17 year olds – even though there is a three month reflection period.
Tuesday’s meeting was marred by protests from the public gallery, with opponents of the Bill shouting “shame on you all” as another amendment was voted through to make it harder for sex offenders to apply for the GRC.
Scottish 15-year-olds will be able to start the process of legally changing their gender without parental consent after MSPs blocked Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to exclude children from transgender legislation.
A number of proposed amendments to the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill were rejected by MSPs today
Sturgeon’s close ally Shona Robinson, who is leading the bill through Holyrood, reiterated that time spent living with the opposite sex from the age of 15 will contribute to the six-month minimum time required to change sex, The Telegraph reports.
Amendments to the proposed legislation were also rejected by the SNP last night. The attempt to keep the age up to 18 has been repealed by 87 votes to 37 against.
Safeguards to prevent fraudulent applications for gender reassignment by registered sex offenders also failed, despite concerns that the legislation could be abused by male predators seeking to gain access to women’s spaces.
Green MSP Maggie Chapman, one of the strongest backers of the legislation, hit back at those behind the proposed amendments to send out transphobic “dog whistles” as they “equated trans people with sex offenders”.
The final vote on the legislation – which makes it possible to obtain Gender Recognition Certificates (GRC) after six months – is due today.
The most controversial aspect of the bill is the provision that allows 16- and 17-year-olds to apply for GRCs for the first time.
Critics have slammed the proposal to encourage young people to undergo irreversible medical procedures that they may later regret. Figures show that the number of adolescents seeking medical help according to their gender has increased in recent years, especially among girls.
An SNP MP accused the Scottish government of favoring the rights of sex offenders over women. Michelle Thomson, who previously described the ordeal of being raped as a teenager, proposed an amendment to prevent those accused of serious sex offenses from obtaining a GRC before trial.
Thomson expressed concern that victims could be forced to refer to their attackers by their preferred pronouns in court.
Protesters are seen at a candle-lit vigil protesting the loss of women’s rights in Scotland.
She said: “Does this government understand that they are putting the rights of a man seeking the GRC over the rights of a woman who is a victim of sexual assault or rape.”
The amendment was opposed by the Scottish Government on the grounds that it breached human rights legislation.
MSPs will consider the last of 153 amendments tabled in the third stage of the Bill – after a marathon parliamentary session on Tuesday, with MPs sitting until just after midnight – before a final vote on Wednesday evening.
On Tuesday, MSPs backed an amendment tabled by SNP MSP Gillian Martin to the bill, which would have meant she would not be able to apply for a GRC under a sexual harm prevention order or a sex crime prevention order.
Meanwhile, a push by an SNP MSP to ensure that applications would be suspended if an applicant is accused of a sex offense until their case is dismissed by members was divided by 61 votes to 61 – as usual, deputy leader Liam McArthur used his vote against. the change
The Scottish Tories also appeared to be trying to drag out proceedings as long as possible, tabling four amendments to the agenda of four members, voting on a timetable for considering the amendments, raising one more motion that MSPs had to vote on. and a few points of order – all before the amendment debate begins.
The party also chose to push the amendments to a vote, even though the proponents of the changes did not.
The bill has been one of the most controversial at Holyrood since devolution, with opponents worried about its potential impact on the safety of women and girls.
But the Scottish Government insists the legislation will not affect the Equality Act, which allows transsexuals to be excluded from single-sex spaces such as changing rooms and shelters, something confirmed by an earlier amendment by Labour’s Pam Duncan-Glancy.