Media and comment

Media articles

Letter to the Editor on GRA reform
The Times, 27 September 2021

Whose views count? Losing sight of sex in the Police Scotland ‘Your Police’ survey
Article on Police Scotland’s data recording practices
Policing Insight, 31 August 2021

All rapists are male, regardless of gender
Article on Police Scotland policy on recording the sex of those charged with rape
The Times, 9 June 2021

Greens’ commitment to enshrining Yogyakarta Principles needs scrutiny
Article on commitment in Scottish Green Party manifesto to enshrine Yogyakarta Principles into Scots law
Scottish Legal News, 20 April 2021

Does it matter if someone was born male or female? When it comes to crime reporting, yes
Article on data collection for crime statistics
The Courier, 15 April 2021

Census must echo guidance on sex
Letter regarding judgement in English High Court on guidance for sex question in the 2021 census
The Times, 22 March 2021

Chilling effect: how the hate crime bill threatens free speech
Article on the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
Holyrood, 10 March 2021

Who is a woman in the government’s view?
Article on For Women Scotland’s judicial review of the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act
The Times, 14 January 2021

Securing legal clarity in the Forensic Medical Services Bill
Article on a proposed amendment to the Forensic Medical Services Bill from Johann Lamont MSP
Scottish Legal News, 9 December 2020

Hate Crime Bill would affect freedom of speech in transgender debate – comment
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime bill
The Scotsman, 29 November 2020

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Views from Scottish policing
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime Bill
Policing Insight, 29 September 2020

Restrict new hate crime laws to situations where there is ‘intention’ to stir up hate
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime Bill
Press and Journal, 21 September 2020

Will Hate Crime Bill follow the path of its predecessor?
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime Bill
The Herald, 10 August 2020

The hate crime bill must be properly scrutinised
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime Bill
Holyrood, 20 May 2020

Shifting sands on the definitions of ‘woman’ in Scots law
Article on the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act
Scottish Legal News, 21 April 2020

Trans rights and ‘collective wellbeing’
Letter to editor in response to article on GRA reform
Scottish Review, 19 February 2020

Government should take closer look at gender law precedents
Article on gender recognition reform and ‘international best practice’.
The Herald, 16 January 2020

Opinion: We need more clarity on gender rights debate from Scottish Government
Article about the Scottish Government’s GRA consultation.
The Scotsman, 1 January 2020

Policing the Gender Identity Debate
Article by Dr Kath Murray about UK police forces and gender self-identification policy.
Policing Insight, 28 October 2019

Losing sight of women’s rights: policy capture and public policy
Article about forthcoming paper in Scottish Affairs on women’s rights and policy capture by Dr Kath Murray and Lucy Hunter Blackburn.
Associated news piece: Scottish trans policy ‘detrimental’ to women and girls
Holyrood Magazine, 29 July 2019

It’s vital that census data is accurate! 
Article by Dr Kath Murray about the 2021 census and proposed guidance for the sex question.
The Mail on Sunday, 15 September 2019

Sex question should stick to birth certificate
Article by Lucy Hunter Blackburn about proposed guidance for the 2021 census in England, Wales and Scotland.
Scotland on Sunday, 14 September 2019

There has been a lack of due diligence and scrutiny in policy-making in the field of gender identity.
Letter in response to comment piece by Vic Valentine of the Scottish Trans Alliance from Dr Kath Murray and Lucy Hunter Blackburn.
The Herald, 31 July 2019

Biological sex is the legal cornerstone of women’s rights to fair treatment
Article about the 2021 census and the importance of robust data on sex.
Holyrood magazine, 11 March 2019

Why gender identity should be kept distinct
Agenda article about the Stage 1 report on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill.
The Herald, 11 February 2019

Multi-signatory letter calling for an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) on GRA reform
Associated news piece: Women ‘need more say’ on gender reform
The Times, 29 January 2019

Letter to the Editor on GRA reform
The Sunday Times, 9 December 2018

sunday times

Media commentary

UK will divide over census sex question
Quoted in an article about plans to reframe sex question in 2022 Scottish census
The Times, 5 October 2021

Mornings with Kaye Adams
Interview with Lisa Mackenzie about GRA reform
BBC Radio Scotland, 20 September 2021
[Transcript of discussion here]

Sturgeon on the hook
Reference to MBM in article about the Scottish Government’s plans to reform the GRA
The Critic, 20 September 2021

Watchdog queries trans self-identity census plan
Quoted in an article about plans to reframe the sex question in the 2022 census
The Times, 17 September 2021

Gender reforms not a real threat to women, says Nicola Sturgeon
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s plans to reform the GRA
The Times, 10 September 2021

GRA reform: Free vote not ruled out, but concerns ‘not valid’, says Nicola Sturgeon
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s plans to reform the GRA
The Scotsman, 10 September 2021

Nicola Sturgeon dismisses concerns over gender reforms as ‘not valid’
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s plans to reform the GRA
The Herald, 10 September 2021

Nicola Sturgeon is refusing to back down on trans rights – but resistance is growing
Reference to MBM in an article about the Scottish Government’s plans to reform the GRA
New Statesman, 9 September 2021

Nicola Sturgeon tries to calm fears over gender recognition reforms
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s plans to reform the GRA
The Herald, 6 September 2021

Ban urged on rape suspects ‘claiming they are women’
Article about submissions on parliamentary petition on the accurate recording of rape
The Times, 6 September 2021

SNP-Green coalition moves to simplify trans self-identification
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s plans to reform the GRA
The Times, 3 September 2021

Gender question on Scottish census ‘harms’ data
Quoted in an article about plans to reframe the sex question in the 2022 Scottish census
The Times, 1 September 2021

People can self-identify as male or female in Scottish census, says guidance
Quoted in an article about plans to reframe the sex question in the 2022 Scottish census
The Guardian, 31 August 2021

Transgender Scots can self-identify on 2022 census
Quoted in an article about plans to reframe the sex question in the 2022 Scottish census
The Daily Telegraph, 31 August 2021

Scotland’s census 2022 to allow people to self-identify as men or women regardless of legally-recognised gender
Quoted in an article about plans to reframe the sex question in the 2022 Scottish census
The Sun, 31 August 2021

Nicola Sturgeon facing backlash over proposed gender legislation
Reference to MBM blog on delayed publication of GRA consultation responses
The Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2021

Policy Matters (Politically Speaking podcast)
PODCAST interview with Lisa Mackenzie
Holyrood, 1 July 2021

La penalización de los sentimientos dentro del Código Penal
Interview with Lisa Mackenzie regarding the Hate Crime and Public Order Act 2021
El Caribe, 30 June 2021
[English translation of Q&A provided to Raquel Rosario Sanchez]

Trans rights: How gender recognition reform became one of Scotland’s most heated debates
Interview with Lisa Mackenzie regarding GRA reform
Press and Journal, 23 June 2021

Keir Starmer must show courage and protect women and their hard-fought rights – Susan Dalgety
Reference to Scottish Parliament public petition on Police Scotland recording of rape and attempted rape
The Scotsman, 12 June 2021

Woman wins appeal over transgender tweet
Quoted in article about Employment Tribunal Appeal judgment in Forstater vs CGD Europe
Scottish Legal News, 10 June 2021

Campaign to ensure all rape suspects are recorded as men
Article about Scottish Parliament public petition on Police Scotland recording of rape and attempted rape
The Times, 9 June 2021

Petition launched for sex of those charged with rape to be recorded ‘accurately’
Article about Scottish Parliament public petition on Police Scotland recording of rape and attempted rape
The Scotsman, 8 June 2021

How the debate over trans rights is splitting the SNP
Quoted in article about GRA reform
New Statesman, 14 May 2021

Nicola Sturgeon fails to understand equality laws, research finds
Reference to MBM factcheck on claims about women’s sex-based rights made by candidates in Holyrood election campaign
The Times, 6 May 2021

Unlike Nicola Sturgeon, women like me did not choose their pronouns and we are not akin to racists for saying so – Susan Dalgety
Reference to MBM FOI response on police recording practice relating to the sex of rape suspects
The Scotsman, 23 April 2021

Rape suspects can choose to self-identify as female
Reference to MBM FOI response on police recording practice relating to the sex of rape suspects
The Times, 17 April 2021

Scotland census to be challenged again after sex question ruling
Quoted in an article about implications of English High Court judgment on census in England and Wales
The Times, 22 March 2021

Backlash as SNP’s ‘chilling’ hate crime bill passed
Quoted in an article about Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
The Express, 12 March 2021

Controversial hate crime bill passed at Holyrood
Quoted in article about Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
Scottish Legal News, 12 March 2021

Why the census sex question needs to be protected
Reference to MBM in article about Fair Play For Women judicial review of ONS decision on 2021 census
The Spectator, 10 March 2021

Hardeep Singh: MSPs must put free speech before party politics
Reference to MBM in article by Hardeep Singh from Network of Sikh Organisations on the hate crime bill
Press and Journal, 9 March 2021

Women’s manifesto aims to put pressure on Scottish parties to reaffirm sex-based rights
Quoted in article about women’s manifesto for Holyrood election
Scotland on Sunday, 7 March 2021

Saying that sex is binary risks criminal charge, group claims
Refers to MBM concerns regarding freedom of expression under the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
The Times, 4 March 2021

Humza Yousaf accused of ignoring concerns over protections for free speech in the Hate Crime Bill
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
The Scotsman, 2 March 2021

How Scotland’s Hate Crime Bill ignited a freedom of speech row
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
Prospect, 26 February 2021

Hate Crime Bill: Humza Yousaf proposes detailed guidelines to quell fears over freedom of speech
Quoted in an article about an emergency evidence session on the hate crime bill and freedom of speech
The Scotsman, 22 February 2021

Questions on biological sex ‘are wiped from official data’
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government Chief Statistician’s draft guidance on collecting data on sex
The Times, 13 January 2021

Prison service’s review of trans policies to launch next month
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Prison Service’s proposed review of its transgender prisoner policy
The Scotsman, 27 December 2020

Sweeping changes to controversial Hate Crime Bill to protect freedom of expression
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s proposed amendments to the Hate Crime Bill
The Scotsman, 14 December 2020

EHRC sex data advice ‘misrepresents the law’
Quoted in an article about a legal opinion from Aidan O’Neill QC on an EHRC statement
Scottish Legal News, 8 December 2020

Ex-women’s prison chief quits SNP over Hate Crime Bill and gender reform plans
Includes remarks made by Lucy Hunter Blackburn on the hate crime bill at the Justice Committee
The National, 25 November 2020 

Backlash to Sainsbury’s ad shows race not ‘talked about enough’
Quoted in an article about our evidence to the Scottish Parliament on the hate crime bill
Press and Journal, 17 November 2020

Hate crime bill will not stifle speech, insists trans activist
Quoted in an article about our evidence to the Scottish Parliament on the hate crime bill
The Times, 17 November 2020

JK Rowling and the Real World
Quoted in an article about J K Rowling’s essay on women’s rights
The Tortoise, 4 November 2020

Scottish Government reveals 17,000 responses for consultation on gender reform
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s analysis of responses to GRA reform consultation
The Scotsman, 4 November 2020

New report claims Census policy was ‘captured’ by trans rights groups
Reference to Lisa Mackenzie’s authorship of report ‘Sex and the census’
The Scotsman, 20 October 2020

UK gender recognition process changes being considered by Scottish Government
Quoted in an article about the UK Government’s announcement on GRA reform
The Scotsman, 24 September 2020

Scotland’s Hate Crime Bill would have a chilling effect on free speech
Reference to our scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s draft hate crime bill
The Spectator, 22 August 2020

Trans rights activists are letting down people they represent – Euan McColm
Reference to the attempt by EUP to censor our Scottish Affairs article
Scotland on Sunday, 16 August 2020

The Bookseller, 3.8.20
Article on the attempt by EUP to censor our Scottish Affairs article
https://www.thebookseller.com/news/eup-tried-censor-journal-article-over-transphobia-concerns-1213828

The Sunday Times, 2.8.20
Article on the attempt by EUP to censor our Scottish Affairs article
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/academics-tell-of-bid-by-edinburgh-university-press-to-censor-article-on-transwomen-5frs77fhd

The Herald, 2.8.20
Referred to our evidence on the draft hate crime bill in opinion piece by Iain McWhirter
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18622850.scottish-governments-illiberal-hate-crime-bill-must-sent-knackers-yard/

The Scotsman 11.7.20
Referred to in an article about J K Rowling’s remarks on the debate about sex and gender
https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/why-feminists-me-stand-jk-rowling-trans-rights-row-susan-dalgety-2910085

The Guardian 12.6.20
Quoted in an article about J K Rowling’s remarks on the debate about sex and gender
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jun/12/jk-rowling-row-hints-at-generational-rift-on-transgender-rights?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

The Ferret 19.5.20
Quoted in an article about changes to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
https://theferret.scot/freedom-information-covid-19-committee-changes/

The National 8.5.20
Quoted in an article about our paper in the Edinburgh Law Review
https://www.thenational.scot/news/18436439.gra-row-governments-accused-under-radar-planning/

Scottish Legal News 7.5.20
Quoted in an article about our paper in the Edinburgh Law Review
https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/gender-recognition-reform-taking-place-under-the-radar-across-europe

The Ferret 3.4.20
Quoted in an article about the Scottish Government’s curbing of FOI legislation
https://theferret.scot/information-rights-coronavirus-law-draconian/

The Scotsman 3.2.20
Quoted in an article about plans for the question on sexual orientation in the 2021 census
https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/controversial-list-of-sexualities-could-be-dropped-from-scottish-census-1-5084949

The Sun 8.1.20
Quoted in an article about academic paper referenced in Scottish Government’s GRA consultation paper
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/5149172/snp-breast-cancer-patients-id-row-mastectomies/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebarweb

The Scotsman, 5.1.20
Quoted in an article about Scottish Government’s GRA reform plans
https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/policy-experts-call-gender-reform-radical-and-risky-change-law-1398292

The Guardian 27.12.19
Quoted in an article about proposed guidance for the 2021 census
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/27/scottish-census-body-backs-self-id-guidance-for-sex-question

The Daily Mail 27.12.19
Quoted in an article about proposed guidance for the 2021 census
https://www.pressreader.com/uk/scottish-daily-mail/20191227/281595242443694

The Sun 26.12.19
Quoted in an article about proposed guidance for the 2021 census
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/5104945/gender-scotland-cenus-identify-sex/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebarweb

The Scotsman 26.12.19
Quoted in an article about proposed guidance for the 2021 census
https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/academics-criticise-scotland-s-2021-census-for-allowing-sex-to-be-self-identified-1-5066844

The Herald 26.12.19
Quoted in an article about proposed guidance for the 2021 census
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18122829.academics-criticise-2021-census-guidance-allowing-sex-self-identified/

The Guardian
Referenced in an article about Scottish Government’s proposed reform of the GRA
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/17/transgender-reforms-will-not-diminish-womens-rights-scottish-government

The Sunday Times 1.12.19
Quoted in an article about proposed reforms of the Gender Recognition Act
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/only-third-of-scots-back-gender-change-at-16-s7f92jrz8

Edinburgh Evening News 31.10.19
Quoted in an article about plans for the 2021 census
https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/health/scotlands-2021-census-have-21-sexual-orientation-choices-adults-823987

The Scotsman 30.10.19
Quoted in an article about plans for the 2021 census
https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scotland-s-2021-census-to-have-21-sexual-orientation-choices-for-adults-1-5036038

The Sun 29.10.19
Quoted in an article about plans for the 2021 census
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/4894324/sexualities-scotland-census-list/

The Scotsman 30.9.19
Quoted in article about Scottish Government working group on sex and gender data
https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-government-pledge-not-to-conflate-sex-and-gender-when-publishing-stats-1-5013939

The National 25.9.19
Reference to MBM blog in article about plans for 2021 census
https://www.thenational.scot/news/17927524.data-experts-left-out-discussions-gra-census-questions/

The Sunday Times 1.9.19
Quoted in article about leaked EHRC schools guidance
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/scots-head-teachers-warned-over-pe-ban-on-transgender-pupils-qht028l09

The Times 31.8.19
Column by Trevor Phillips, former Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission references our Scottish Affairs paper on policy capture and gender self-identification.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/minority-activists-have-got-our-leaders-on-the-run-3bsnjljwd

Scottish Legal News 31.7.19
Article about paper in Scottish Affairs on women’s rights and policy capture by Dr Kath Murray and Lucy Hunter Blackburn
https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/academics-call-on-scottish-government-to-uphold-equality-act-amid-claim-of-ideologically-driven-lobbying-from-trans-rights-advocates

The Herald 29.7.19
Reference to forthcoming paper in Scottish Affairs on women’s rights and policy capture by Dr Kath Murray and Lucy Hunter Blackburn
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17800511.snp-women-39-s-convener-criticised-insisting-canadian-trans-woman-jessica-yaniv-39-female-predator-39/

The Spectator 22.6.19
Reference to work of Dr Kath Murray and Lucy Hunter Blackburn in article about Scottish Government’s announcement on GRA reform
https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/06/holyroods-trans-rights-pause-is-a-good-thing/

The Times 21.6.19
Quoted in article about Scottish Government’s plans for GRA reforms
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/law-on-gender-recognition-is-delayed-amid-concern-for-girls-z2l5mglps

The Herald 20.6.19
Quoted in article about Scottish Government’s plans for GRA reforms
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17720358.gender-self-id-law-could-run-out-of-time-as-scottish-government-pledge-to-consult-the-public-over-extending-trans-rights/

The Guardian  20.6.19
Quoted in article about Scottish Government’s plans for GRA reforms
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/20/scotland-to-run-new-consultations-before-updating-gender-law

The Scotsman 20.6.19
Quoted in article about Scottish Government’s plans for GRA reforms
https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/gender-law-delayed-for-more-consultation-on-impact-on-women-1-4951316

The Morning Star 13.6.19
Referred to in article about Edinburgh University event on women’s sex-based rights
https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/asking-what-future-holds-women
(Lucy Hunter Blackburn speaking notes: Women’s Sex Based Rights speech. 5 June 2019)

Poll: Women in Scotland want to retain single sex facilities
Quoted in article on report about female-only spaces by Women and Girls Scotland
The Scotsman, 4 June 2019

Police Scotland criticised over allowing suspects to self identify gender
Quoted in an article on Police Scotland recording practices, which are based on self-declared gender.
The Scotsman, 3 June 2019

Joan McAlpine defies bullies in sex and gender dispute
Quoted in an article about Joan McAlpine and the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill
Scotland on Sunday, 7 April 2019

Transgender suspects able to ‘skew’ crime statistics
Quoted in an article on the availability of data by sex in criminal justice statistics
The Scotsman, 16 March 2019

Letting criminals self-identify gender ‘putting women at risk’
Quoted in an article on the availability of data by sex in criminal justice statistics
The Times, 14 March 2019

‘Non-binary’ sex option will not appear on next census
Quoted in an article about the Stage 1 report on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill:
The Times, 7 February 2019

Legal bid to allow Scots to choose sex in census will be rejected
Quoted in an article about the Stage 1 report on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill:
The Herald, 7 February 2019

New Scottish bill conflates sex and gender – report
Quoted in an article about the Stage 1 report on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill
The Guardian, 7 February 2019

Council confusion over sex and gender ‘could put women at risk’
Reference to our research on local authorities:
The Times, 11 January 2019

Scotland census: sex question changes ‘may risk reliability of data’
Quoted in an article on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill:
The Guardian, 9 January 2019

Trans lobby has sent me death threats, says Professor Rosa Freedman
Reference to submission to Stage 1 inquiry into Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill:
The Times, 6 December 2018

Scottish Government is “changing what it means to be female” with census bill, academics warn
Quoted on Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill:
The Herald, 5 December 2018