Catholic Parliamentary Office Briefing: Scottish Government consultation on review of the Gender Rec

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on proposed reform of gender recognition legislation.

Existing legislation, the Gender Recognition Act 2004, allows a person who wishes to change their legally recognised gender to apply to the Gender Recognition Panel to obtain legal recognition of their acquired gender. There are certain requirements before someone may legally change their gender. One is that the individual should have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years, another is that they must satisfy the Gender Recognition Panel that they have gender dysphoria and provide two medical reports to this effect.

The Scottish Government believes that the requirements laid down in the 2004 Act are too intrusive and onerous. Proposed reforms include removing requirements for applicants to provide medical evidence of gender dysphoria and to have lived in their acquired gender for two years before applying. Some requirements would remain, such as applicants having to provide a statutory declaration to confirm they fully understand the implications of their application and intend to live in their acquired gender for the rest of their lives.

The consultation proposes that the minimum age for applying for legal gender recognition should be reduced from 18 to 16. The consultation also discusses what arrangements should be put in place in relation to applications by, or on behalf of, those aged under 16. And it seeks views on what recognition should be given to non-binary people, who do not identify as either male or female. In both of these areas, the consultation outlines a number of potential options, and seeks views.

You are encouraged to respond to this important consultation. You may answer some or all of the questions. This briefing paper provides some points to consider in answering seven of the questions in the consultation paper. You must always use your own words when responding to a consultation.

You can access the consultation via this link. The consultation closes on 1 March 2018.