First phase of Scottish gender reform, self-identification bill passed despite nine SNP MPs defying party whip

Politicians voted to support the general principle of the following law of the ruling Scottish National Party, which allows someone to legally change their gender by making a statutory declaration.

In the first stage of debate on the Gender Awareness Reform (Scotland) Bill, the bill passed by 88 to 33 votes, with four abstentions.

in total, Nine Scottish National Party MPs defied the whip and voted against the bill. This includes Ash Regan, John Mason, Stephanie Callahan, Fergus Ewing, Kenny Gibson, Ruth Maguire and Michelle Thomson. Annabelle Ewing and Jim Fairley withdrew.

Women’s rights groups called the bill “absolutely reckless.”

The bill would allow individuals to change their gender simply by making a statutory declaration.

The age at which you can apply for the gender recognition process will be lowered from 18 to 16. Additionally, the length of time an applicant must live in the gender they have acquired is reduced from her two years to three months, requiring a medical diagnosis and evidence. It was deleted.

The bill would not require applicants to undergo surgery or hormone therapy and would also simplify the process of changing the gender on a birth certificate.

Serious Concern for Women’s Safety

Community Safety Minister Ash Regan, who resigned hours before the bill, said: “My conscience will not allow the government to vote on phase one of the bill this afternoon.”

For Women Scotland, a Scottish campaign group, says the proposed reforms raise serious concerns about women’s safety.they point it out This bill opens up the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). Less than 1% to potentially 100% of the population with an adequate medical diagnosis.

Susan Smith, co-director of Four Women Scotland, told the Epoch Times:

“There’s definitely come a point in some politicians that separates people who actually care about women’s rights from others who have careers ahead of them,” Smith said. rice field.

“The parliamentarian has faced horrific harassment in this regard despite the lack of an official statement from the Prime Minister. I never admitted it,” Smith said.

Joanna Cherry, one of SNP’s most high-profile MPs, has spoken out about self-ID and fears it will affect women’s safety.and Edinburgh Fringe Events in AugustCherry claimed that neither Nicola Sturgeon nor SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford endorsed her after receiving rape threats because of her gender-critical views.

The Scottish government has said that Scottish ministers made a “clear error of law” in trying to create a category of “legal sex” separate from a person’s biological sex. The government is challenging the Scottish government in judicial review.

The case is scheduled to go to trial later this year in November.

“We believed quite strongly[ly] It was completely reckless of them to start arguing about this before it was known.

“Why do we have a mechanism to do this anyway? Why don’t we let people self-proclaim otherwise?” Smith said.

“People have to pass all sorts of tests: citizenship, disability, etc. You can’t just go out and say you want a blue badge. [a scheme that allows people with severe mobility issues, who have difficulty using public transport, additional parking rights]”

gender fluidity

Richard Lucas, leader of the Scottish Family Party, a new socially conservative political party, told The Epoch Times that the bill’s problem was to “strengthen the philosophy of gender fluidity”.

“The more this philosophy is promoted through governments, laws, education, and the wider culture, the more young people in particular will fall for it, and ultimately, it will be very harmful to them in the end,” said Lucas. said.

A Scottish government spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email: Permission to exclude transgender people if it is a reasonable means to achieve a legitimate end. ”

“These exceptions are important and the Scottish Government supports them. The Gender Recognition Reform Bill will not change the Equality Act or their exceptions,” he added.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “There is overwhelming support for the bill, with more than two-thirds of parliament and members of all five political parties voting in favor of Stage 1.

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech, covering stories from a wide variety of countries.