The government of the UK in Westminster is threatening to block new gender recognition legislation passed in Scotland.
The new bill, which passed the Scottish Parliament on Thursday by a vote of 86 to 39 in its favor, would allow people under the age of 16 to change their gender through self-declaration – without requiring any medical certificate.
It will be the first country in the UK to introduce a self-declaration system.Scottish lawmakers argue the law is needed because it will make life easier for the country’s transgender community.
“Removing the need for a medical diagnosis for a trans person who wishes to legally change their gender is actually one of the purposes of this legislation, as requiring it is one of the most intrusive, painful, and dehumanizing parts of the current system.” is one,” said Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland.
It also creates a three-month ‘reflection period’ during which a person can change their mind.
But after the bill was passed, Britain’s Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, said he could block it from reaching royal assent, backing critics who claimed it would protect women in same-sex places such as domestic abuse shelters and could put them in danger.“We will be taking a closer look at that, and also the implications for the Equality Act 2010 and other UK-wide legislation, in the coming weeks – up to a section 35 order to stop the bill going for royal assent if necessary and involved,” he said in testimony.
Westminster has also raised concerns that this would lead to ‘legal chaos’ and ‘gender tourism’ within the UK, as it is unclear whether Scotland’s gender identity certificate will be valid across the UK’s internal borders.
The law would allow people as young as 16 to change their legal gender markers without medical supervision.Minors between the ages of 12 and 13 would need a judge’s authorization to change their legal gender marker, while those between the ages of 14 and 16 would need to be accompanied by their legal guardians.
The current system in Spain requires that a person be diagnosed with gender dysphoria by multiple doctors.And in some cases, they must also prove that they have lived for two years as the gender they identified with or show that they took hormones.
Some transgender rights groups in the country say the law represents a “before and after” in LGBTQ+ rights. The law will now go to Spain’s Senate for final approval.