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McInnes: Ministers must break down barriers facing transgender people

January 28, 2016 2:08 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokeswoman Alison McInnes MSP has today called on the Scottish Government to reform gender recognition legislation and break down the unreasonable barriers facing transgender people who wish to change their legal gender.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 requires those who wish to change their legal gender go through a lengthy and outdated legal process. Despite many other European countries allowing trans people to self-declare their gender, in Scotland evidence is examined by doctors and lawyers before such a change can proceed.

After questioning Scottish Minister Marco Biagi this afternoon, Ms McInnes said: "The Gender Recognition Act was a significant step forward at the time but it's been over a decade since it was put in place and it's time take into account the changes in society that have occurred since then.

"Someone who wants to legally change their gender should be able to self-declare that without a panel of doctors and lawyers having to examine the evidence. The minimum age for getting gender recognition should be reduced. And recognition of non-binary gender, which covers any gender identity, should be introduced.

"It is well within the power of the Scottish Parliament to amend the act and I'm pleased Ministers are considering heeding the calls of Scottish Liberal Democrats to open a public consultation with the aim of reviewing this outdated legislation. Trans people have had to wait too long for movement on this."