MBM response to the introduction of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill

Today’s statement and the response in Parliament lays to rest any argument that legislation in this area should not be properly debated. We were pleased that MSPs across the Chamber recognised that this Bill needs to be scrutinised like any other. We welcome the commitment to allow differing perspectives to be respectfully heard.

The Scottish Government continues to fail to appreciate that removing all medical oversight from the process will expand the pool of people eligible to change their sex in law. This is about more than a simple administrative reform and will have implications for other people.

We also remain concerned that MSPs are being asked to legislate whilst the relationship between the Equality Act 2010 and Gender Recognition Act 2004 remains unsettled. The debate brought out that the Scottish Government still struggles to provide coherent responses to questions about direct practical effects.

We welcome the recognition that there is a need to monitor the impact of the legislation but would caution that what is so far proposed falls far short of what is required.

Our list of unanswered questions on gender recognition reform can be read here: