Boris Johnson To Halt Self-Identifying Measures Despite 70% In Support
While people all over the world celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride month, Boris Johnson has reportedly dealt a huge blow to the transgender community.
After years of work have gone into reforming the Gender Recognition Act, leaked documents have revealed the government plans to scrap proposals making it easier for trans people to change their legal gender.
Now, it’s reported the self-identification system has been shelved in order to ‘protect “safe spaces” for women’, including domestic violence refugees and public toilets. However, it’s unclear how safeguarding these single-sex areas will work given that the Equality Act 2010 says organisations such as women’s refuges must be inclusive of trans women.
The documents seen by The Sunday Times refer back to plans put together by Theresa May’s government, scrapping the need for a panel of doctors to certify an individual’s transition. Instead, the reform would have seen individuals making a sworn declaration in front of a judge to attest their decision to legally change gender.
However, these plans have now reportedly been dashed, despite 70% of respondents voting in support of self-identification. The Times reports that more than 100,000 responses were received regarding the form as part of the government’s consultation period, however officials are said to have claimed the results were ‘skewed by an avalanche of responses generated by trans rights groups’.
Without this reform, legally changing gender to align with self-identification will be just as difficult as it was before, with the government’s own statistics claiming that only 4,910 people have successfully been granted a certificate since 2004. Given that there is an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 trans people living in the UK, it is a shockingly low number of people who have legally transitioned.
Amnesty International’s women’s rights programme director Chiara Capraro has called the alleged U-turn ‘extremely worrying’.
In a statement, she said:
Reports that the government intends to scrap plans to bring gender recognition laws in line with human rights standards are extremely worrying.
More than two years ago, the government quite rightly set out a plan to reform the out-of-date Gender Recognition Act – a U-turn on this would send a chilling message that the UK is a hostile place for trans people.
The UK is already slipping further and further down the European rankings for LGBT equality – falling from third to ninth place over the past three years. The proposed move would no doubt see the UK plummet even further.
If true, the news will be a devastating blow for the trans community, particularly during Pride Month, which commemorates the Stonewall riots of 1969.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.
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CreditsThe Sunday Times
The Sunday Times