Steph's Place

Reply to For Women Scotland - GRA Reform leaflet

Editorial.

For Women Scotland is distributing a leaflet in relation to reform of The Gender Recognition Act. Below is the text of their document (in black) along with comments from Steph’s Place in blue text.

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Do you believe a man is a woman if he says he is?

The Scottish Government does. And they want to make it law by amending the Gender Recognition Act.

 

COMMENT: The Gender Recognition Act (GRA) is very outdated and not fit for purpose. Twenty Governments worldwide use a legal gender process called Self-ID, with over 800 million people having access to it. Countries include Argentina, Malta, Ireland, Belgium, Ireland, and even Pakistan, a country not known for good human rights. Self-ID is very successful, and there are no reports of any problems in any country. 

 

What is the Gender Recognition Act?

This law allows adults who have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria (severe distress with their sexed body) and a proven commitment of living in the role of their acquired gender to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and get a new birth certificate showing them as the opposite sex. The Act represents best international practice for this small group of people and works exactly as intended, with 95% of all applications succeeding.

COMMENT:  The GRA process is almost impossible to negotiate - just 1% of trans people apply. Successful applicants are issued with a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). It is not an identity document and purely allows the holder to change details on a birth certificate, allowing them to marry and die in their legal gender. A GRC does NOT..  (repeat NOT) mean the applicant can have access to single-sex spaces such as refuges, hospitals or prisons, all of which are covered by way of the Equality Act 2010. Nor does it mean a trans person will be able to compete in elite sports. This is controlled by relating Sporting Federations.

 

What do the Scottish Government want to do?

They are proposing to:

  • remove the need for a medical diagnosis.
  • reduce the living in role period to 3 months (with a 3-month reflection period), and
  • reduce the minimum age from 18 to 16 years old.

Instead, an applicant will sign a form, self-declaring themselves to be the opposite sex.

 

COMMENT: Ooops... For Women Scotland, also forget to tell you that if any person makes a false declaration or transgresses, they can spend two years in prison!

 

What’s the problem?

Removing the medical diagnosis means opening up eligibility from less than 1% of the population who have a medical need, to 100% of Scottish residents aged 16 and over. Anyone can apply, from school children to convicted sex offenders. All checks and balances will be removed, and it will have a negative impact on women’s and children’s rights.

 The Government has ignored a 2017 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, which held that requiring a medical diagnosis before issuing a GRC strikes the correct balance between the rights of people who identify as trans and the state’s obligations to the rest of society.

Those obligations include the rights of women to be defined in law with protections and rights as a sex-class, distinct and separate from men - rights that will now be completely undermined.

 The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned of consequences relating to the collection and use of data, participation in sport, measures to address barriers facing women, and practices within the criminal justice system, amongst others.

 Men who say they are women (the majority of whom have made no physical changes) have already claimed it is their right to be treated on female hospital wards, access women’s refuges, join women’s sports teams, have sex-specific crimes such as rape recorded as if committed by a woman, be housed in female prisons, and provide intimate care and counselling to women who would prefer female carers.

 This already happens in Scotland and is encouraged by the Government, who, contrary to the Equality Act, recently declared that men can self-identify in to women’s and girls’ changing rooms and toilets.

 The Government has also ignored the advice of the Children’s Commissioner who warns their plan conflicts with our understanding of the cognitive development of young people. There has been a stratospheric increase in child referrals to NHS gender clinics - coinciding with trans organisations pouring materials into schools telling kids from nursery age that there is something wrong with their body if they prefer the toys or clothes traditionally associated with the other sex.

Legislating on this basis is irresponsible and affirms young people as trans when evidence shows the vast majority will become comfortable with their body as they grow up. The increasing number of de transitioners have been abandoned and denied a pathway to revoke a GRC without incriminating themselves as having made a false declaration.

 

COMMENT: In our opinion, For Women Scotland is deliberately conflating the Gender Recognition Act with the Equality Act 2010  - using the cloak of "women’s rights" to convey transphobia. We recommend if you have any concerns you contact Stonewall the world’s largest LGBT+ charity which have a dedicated office in Scotland https://www.stonewallscotland.org.uk/ or the Scottish Government. 

 

What can I do?

Learn more about the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. Ask your MSPs to commit publicly to the Equality Act and vote against the Bill to protect women as a sex-class and our legal rights.

Complete a short form to the Committee currently looking at the Bill to change the law.

Visit www.forwomen.scot for more information and quick and easy actions that you can do.

 

COMMENT: Put the leaflet in the bin - in our opinion, the leaflet is gross misinformation.

 

 


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