LONDON (AP) — UK to court over veto of Gender Recognition Law; Scotland’s leader announced Tuesday that he will take the British government to court over its decision to block a Scottish law that makes it easier for people to change their gender on official documents.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Britain’s Conservative government made a “deep mistake” when it vetoed the gender recognition reform bill passed by the Scottish Parliament last month.
“It will inevitably end up in court,” Sturgeon told the AZ24 News. “The Scottish Government will strongly defend this legislation.
Transgender rights campaigners have hailed a landmark bill that would allow 16-year-olds in Scotland to self-declare the gender on their identity card, eliminating the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
It would also shorten the length of time a Transgender Person must live with another express gender before the change is legally recognize, from two years to three months for adults and six months for 16- and 17-year-olds.
Transgender youth on the value of support, respect for their identities
UK to court over veto of gender recognition law; The law sets Scotland apart from the rest of the UK where a medical diagnosis is require for individuals to switch for legal purposes.
Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, but like Wales and Northern Ireland, it has its own semi-autonomous government with wide-ranging powers including health care.
In a rare move, the British government blocked the law on Monday, arguing it could undermine the UK’s equality law, which guarantees women and girls access to single-sex spaces such as changing rooms and shelters.
Opponents of the bill argued that gender identity could allow predatory men to gain access to spaces reserved for women, which supporters of the law described as fear-mongering.
Alister Jack, the UK Minister For Scotland, said the government was concerned about the “adverse effect” on “same-sex clubs, societies and schools and protections such as equal pay”.
“The bill also introduces significant complications by having two different gender recognition systems in place in the UK and allowing for more fraudulent or incorrect applications,” he told MPs.
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The heated debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday proved how intense and divisive the issue can be. Conservative and Scottish National MPs clashed, with opposition Labor MP Rosie Duffield booed by her own party colleagues after praising the government’s actions.
The move puts the Conservative Government at odds with Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party, which wants Scotland to leave the United Kingdom and become an independent country.
SNP MP Joanna Cherry said on Twitter that she opposed the bill “because it does not contain adequate safeguards to protect the rights of women, girls and #LGB people”. However, the problem is in Scotland and should be solve in Scotland.
It is the first time the British government has blocked a Scottish law since Scotland’s government and parliament were create a quarter of a century ago as part of a process known as devolution. Sturgeon said the move was the start of a “very slippery slope as the UK government decided to veto the decisions of the Scottish Parliament whenever it wanted”.
“The UK government wants to undermine the Scottish Parliament and pick and choose issues that they think could incite some sort of culture war and that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “And in doing so, they are undermining devolution, undermining Scottish democracy, and at the same time empowering a stigmatised, vulnerable, often marginalized group in our society.
Jack denied that the decision set a precedent. He said the veto “can only be used in certain circumstances – and the fact that this is the first time in nearly 25 years of devolution highlights that it should not be used lightly”. “
Many countries around the world have Legalized Gender Identity, including Argentina, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark and Iceland. Spain’s parliament passed a bill similar to Scotland’s last month.