Gender Recognition Act reform


In September 2019 we launched a crowdfunder, aimed at publishing a detailed, evidence-based response to the Scottish Government’s draft Gender Recognition Bill, as well as supplementary briefings and media articles. Our work in this area, together with our analysis to date, will be published on this page. 



NEW: MBM briefing on GRA reform and ‘International Best Practice’ (October 2019)
The Scottish Government has cited alignment with ‘international best practice’ as a rationale for reforming the Gender Recognition Act to allow for the statutory self-declaration of sex. This post examines the status of the different international instruments quoted by the Scottish Government, and what law above the UK level appears to require. The briefing note can be downloaded here.

NEW: 20 questions on GRA reform and gender self-declaration (October 2019)

This blog sets out twenty questions on how the Scottish Government anticipate that a reformed GRA based on self-declaration will work in law, the evidence base for reform, and the Scottish Government position on the Equality Act 2010. These are questions to which the answers are currently contested, answered implicitly but not explicitly in the earlier consultation, or otherwise unclear. 

Statement on GRA reform (June 2019)

In June 2019 Cabinet Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announced its plans to legislate immediately for gender self-recognition would be paused and that the Scottish Government would publish a draft Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill for consultation later in the year. Our statement on this announcement is here.

Media: The Herald (20 June 2019)

Quoted in the Guardian, Herald and Scotsman about the Scottish Government’s plans to run a new consultation on its plans for GRA reform:

SNP politicians’s letter on GRA reform (April 2019)

In April 2019 fifteen SNP MSPs, MPs and councillors wrote an open letter calling for a more cautious approach to proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Our response to the letter is here.

Media: Times (29 January 2019)

In January 2019 we organised a multi-signatory letter calling for a full Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) on GRA reform:

Associated news piece:

Call for a full Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) (January 2019)

In January 2019 we wrote to the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, asking if Council members would consider calling on the Scottish Government to undertake a full Equality Impact Assessment on its GRA proposals. In response, the NACWAG stated that it did not believe that it was the correct channel for this proposal. Our letter and the NACWAG response are shown here:

Media: Sunday Times (9 December 2018)

Letter to the Editor on GRA reform:
sunday times

Party manifesto commitments on GRA reform   

Details of existing political party commitments on GRA reform, as stated in the  2017 UK general election and 2016 Holyrood election are set out here:

2017 UK general election party manifesto commitments on GRA reform  

2016 Holyrood election party manifesto commitments on GRA reform