MBM response to the Fair Play for Women census appeal outcome

We share the surprise and disappointment at this decision expressed by FPFW. This was an important case to pursue.

The ruling means that the category of ‘sex’ will now measure something different in Scotland’s census outputs, compared to other parts of the UK. As FPFW argued in court, this breaks the agreement for UK-wide harmonisation on key elements of data.

The ramifications of this judgement extend beyond Scotland’s census. It will cement Scottish Government guidance that advises public authorities to collect data that conflates sex and self-defined gender identity. It will impact on the ability of public authorities to meet their Public Sector Equality Duty requirements to monitor and assess policies in line with the protected characteristics.

And as we explained to the Cabinet Minister and Scottish Government officials, it means that the impact of gender recognition reform cannot be assessed. The Scottish Government was unable to respond to this point.