SNP sparks fury with new law making it easier for men to ID as women

Scotland: Sharron Davies speaks out against SNP gender policy

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New laws making it easier for people to legally change gender in Scotland were passed to cries of “shame on you”. The changes end the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before someone can obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC).

Children will be able to make the change from the age of 16 under the legislation.

The time living in their acquired gender is being cut from two years to three months for people 18 and over.

Critics warned that the rule changes can be exploited by predatory men.

Scottish Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton said the Bill “has shown this Parliament at its worst”.

She added: “In the rush to make the process a little easier for trans people, the Government is making it easier for criminal men to attack women. That’s the problem here.”

Ms Hamilton said the Bill would “let criminal men exploit the system” and put women at risk in single-sex spaces.

She said that “society as a whole” is at risk from the Bill, adding: “While most of us across Scotland are good, decent, reasonable people, rapists are not, sex offenders are not, it is ignorant in the extreme to believe that they will not take advantage of loopholes that are ripe for exploitation.”

The Scottish Parliament backed the Gender Recognition Reform Bill by 86 to 39 in the final vote.

One government minister resigned in protest earlier this year over the SNP legislation.

There were shouts of “shame on you” from protestors in the public galley as the result was announced.

But the passage of the Bill does not clear its path to the statute book, with Scottish Secretary Alister Jack warning the UK Government would consider taking it to the Supreme Court.

“We share the concerns that many people have regarding certain aspects of this Bill, and in particular the safety issues for women and children,” he said.

“We will look closely at that, and also the ramifications for the 2010 Equality Act and other UK-wide legislation, in the coming weeks – up to and including a Section 35 order stopping the Bill going for Royal Assent if necessary”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “most scrutinised piece of legislation” in Holyrood’s history.

She said: “I will never apologise for trying to spread equality, not reduce it, in our country.”

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “Trans rights are not in competition with women’s rights, and as so often before, we can improve things for everyone when those discriminated against act as allies, not opponents.”

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