MBM statement on the ruling in For Women Scotland vs the Scottish Ministers
From the start, the Scottish Government has avoided being pinned down on the effect of a GRC under the Equality Act. It has taken legal action to force it to come clean on its position. Even then, it has tried not to share its view with MSPs.
From today, it must stop the absurd pretence that a GRC is only a bit of paper with no consequences for anyone else. The court says that as things stand a GRC changes whether someone is a woman or a man for the law governing single sex services and anti-discrimination measures.
The exemptions under the Equality Act do not cover all aspects of the Act. Providers are increasingly unwilling to use them even when they can, under pressure from activists. We believe this judgment will make it harder for them to do so for GRC holders.
MSPs will decide next week whether to hand out GRCs to a much larger, undefined group. If they decide to do so then, under the law as it stands, they will be turning back the clock further on women’s ability to find single sex services, when those matter to them most.