London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

People aged 16 and 17 to be allowed to change gender

People aged 16 and 17 to be allowed to change gender

Young people aged 16 and 17 will be allowed to change their legal gender after the Scottish government rejected moves to keep the minimum age at 18.

Some SNP MSPs were among those who argued that 16 is too young to make such a "profound change".

But the government said lowering the age was in keeping with other rights and responsibilities people gain at 16.

It came during a marathon debate on controversial plans to make it easier for trans people to change gender.

The Scottish Parliament was due to discuss and vote on more than 150 proposed amendments to reforms of the Gender Recognition Act on Tuesday ahead of the final vote on Wednesday.

But it had only dealt with about 64 of the amendments by 23:00, with the session finally finishing shortly after midnight when the lights in the Holyrood chamber - which are on a timer - went out.

Parliamentary authorities had earlier decided that it could continue until 02:00 - a prospect several MSPs were unhappy about, and which would have been unprecedented in the parliament's history.

The debate and votes on the remaining amendments are due to resume at about 13:15 on Wednesday. It is not yet clear whether the final vote will have to be delayed.

The Scottish Conservatives have accused the government of attempting to rush the reforms through parliament before Christmas in an attempt to avoid proper scrutiny.

Parliament had earlier been suspended for about half an hour when protestors shouted "shame on you all" and "there is no democracy here" from the public gallery as MSPs voted against a move to make it harder for sex offenders to change gender.

Members of the public were later allowed back into the galleries, with MSPs describing the decision to remove them as "a disproportionate response" to the heckling.


The lights went out in the Holyrood chamber as the debate continued at midnight on Tuesday

The government wants to make it easier for trans people to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), which changes the gender recorded on their birth certificate.

The proposals will remove the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

They will also lower the minimum age for applicants from 18 to 16 and drop the time required for an applicant to live in their acquired gender from two years to three months - or six months for people aged 16 and 17 - with a three-month reflection period during which they can change their mind.

Efforts by some MSPs to keep the minimum age at 18 were voted down, with Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison saying that 16-year-olds have the right to vote in Scottish Parliament elections, leave home and get married.

She added: "Applying for a legal gender recognition generally aligns with the other comparable rights and responsibilities young people obtain at 16."

However the government backed other amendments aimed at ensuring young people understand the process and have received appropriate support.

Ms Robison also insisted that "trans rights are not in competition with women's rights", and that the proposals would be a "significant step forward in creating a more equal Scotland, where trans people feel valued, included and empowered."

Protestors from both sides of the debate gathered outside the Scottish Parliament earlier on Tuesday


Anyone who does obtain a GRC will need to live as their acquired gender for the rest of their life - and could face prosecution if they do not.

Opponents of the proposals fear they could be a danger to women and girls, particularly around the provision of single-sex spaces.

Conservative MSP Russell Findlay tabled an amendment that sought to prevent convicted sex offenders being allowed to change their gender.

The amendment was defeated by 59 votes to 64 with two abstentions - sparking angry scenes in the gallery.

However, the government backed another proposed amendment by SNP MSP Gillian Martin that would mean anyone convicted of a sexual offence who wants to apply for a GRC will need to be fully risk assessed.

If the risk is thought to be too high, their application could be refused.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who sat through the debate, is determined to see the proposals become law


It follows concerns that predatory men could attempt to change their gender to gain access to female prisons.

There have also been protests over a decision to send a trans woman who has convictions for sexually assaulting young girls to the all-female Cornton Vale prison in Stirling.

Katie Dolatowski was awaiting sentencing after previously admitting assaulting a fellow inmate while in a male prison.

A former governor of Cornton Vale, Rhona Hotchkiss, recently told BBC Scotland that in her experience it was "always an issue to have trans women in with female prisoners".

Seven SNP MSPs voted against the legislation at an earlier stage in the process - including former community safety minister Ash Regan, who resigned ahead of the first parliamentary vote - while two others abstained.

Ms Regan, who has said she will not back the government's bill, spoke during Tuesday's debate to criticise the lowering of the minimum age to 16, saying she believed it was too young for someone to make such a "very profound change".

SNP MSP Kenny Gibson also argued that keeping the age limit at 18 would give young people "time and space to grow" and be better prepared to take the "right decision".

The session began with apparent attempts from the Scottish Conservatives to delay proceedings by tabling four separate amendments to the parliamentary agenda.

Despite the heated debate around the bill, it will almost certainly pass into law in a final vote - which is currently scheduled for Wednesday - given the wide support within the SNP, Greens, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

Comments

Oh ya 1 year ago
Well lets be honest. You can change your mind on what you think you are but you can not change your sex. A girl getting a addadicktome does not make her a male same as a guy chopping his off does not make him female. Mental health is the problem

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate
Rishi Sunak Apologizes for Leaving D-Day Commemoration Early
UK Woman Sentenced After Causing Fatal Crash While Sending Selfies
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Assaulted in Central Copenhagen
UN to Add Israel to Human Rights Blacklist
×