Minister for Women and Equalities confirms Government response to Gender Recognition Act will come ‘over the summer’
Government originally planned to publish response before parliamentary recess (22 July)
Minister for Women and Equalities says that the Government ‘will not be rolling back the rights of trans people’
Nancy Kelley, chief executive, Stonewall said: ‘It’s frustrating that the Government has missed their original deadline to announcing their plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act by recess and will now respond ‘over the summer’. Trans people are being asked to wait for equality that is long overdue.
‘For more than three years, trans people have been waiting to hear how the Government would fulfil its promise of GRA reform. During this time, waiting times for gender identity healthcare services have increased, hate crimes against trans people have trebled, and trans people’s identities are being debated in the media and online on a daily basis. So the fact that the Government has missed their own deadline, after so much media speculation, will be a bitter blow for trans communities and allies.
‘Reforming the GRA would make it easier for trans people to go about their daily life, by making it less complicated to update their birth certificate to reflect who they are. This helps make life admin easier, like being able to get married and have the right gender on your marriage certificate, and it means that, as a trans person, your gender is clearly recognised by the state.
‘The current process for obtaining legal gender recognition is burdensome, bureaucratic and demeaning – and as a result, most trans people simply don’t feel able to engage with it. Stonewall, along with many other trans-led and trans-inclusive organisations, have been campaigning for a de-medicalised, straightforward process for legal gender recognition. This isn’t groundbreaking – our neighbours in Ireland have had a similar system in place since 2015 with no negative consequences, and plan to further improve the process for trans people.
‘We want to thank the thousands upon thousands of trans people and allies who came out in support of GRA reform in the Government’s consultation, and who continue to call for reform. We hope the Government will use this extra time to bring forward a plan that meets their own commitment to introduce a de-medicalised, streamlined system of legal gender recognition. This would also reflect the proposals that we understand were supported by the majority of people who responded to the Government’s consultation. It’s also crucial the Government stands firm on their pledge to not roll back the rights of trans people, which would include any regressive action to remove their rights to access single-sex spaces, and to make sure trans people can live their life without fear of discrimination.
‘To all our supporters and everyone who cares about equality, this fight is far from over. We urge you to call or write to your MP, the Minister for Women and Equalities and the Prime Minister. Tell them why we can’t take a massive step back for trans people and echo Section 28. Talk to them about why reform of the GRA is simply about legally recognising trans people as who they are and treating them with dignity and respect. Stonewall will continue to work with you, with trans communities and trans-led organisations, until each and every one of us is accepted without exception.’