Gender Recognition Act (GRA)
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What does the UK Government announcement on the Gender Recognition Act mean?

After nearly two years of waiting, this month the UK Government has published their response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation.

After nearly two years of waiting, this month the UK Government has published their response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation. 

While small improvements have been announced, the UK Government has fallen far short of its promise to reform the GRA – despite a big majority of people who responded to the consultation calling for reform.

You can read the UK Government’s response in full, and Stonewall’s response.

What has changed?

The UK Government has committed to making small, administrative improvements to the process of legal recognition. The fee will be reduced to a nominal amount, and it will move online.  

However, this means the process won’t be de-medicalised, and a self-determination process – as is already in place in countries like the Republic of Ireland, Norway and Argentina – will not be introduced. Legal recognition will also not be extended to non-binary people and under 18s.

What else did the UK Government say about the consultation results? 

Alongside their response, the UK Government also published their analysis of the consultation results.

In total, over 100,000 individuals and organisations responded back in 2018 – most of whom supported meaningful reform of the GRA to improve trans people’s lives. 

  • Nearly two thirds (64.1 per cent) called for the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to be removed.
  • Four in five (80.3 per cent) supported the removal of the requirement for a medical report detailing all treatment. 
  • Nearly four in five (78.6 per cent) called for the removal of the requirement for individuals to provide evidence of having lived in their ‘acquired gender’ for a period of time.  
  • Five in six (84.9 per cent) called for the removal of the requirement that a married trans person must obtain consent from their spouse before successfully getting legal gender recognition.

Will there be any changes to trans people’s rights to use single-sex services, or to trans children and young people’s healthcare? 

This announcement will not affect trans people’s existing rights relating to single-sex services (such as toilets and changing rooms). Under the Equality Act 2010, trans people can use services matching their gender, except in very restricted individual circumstances – this announcement won’t change that. 

Separately, NHS England have announced that an independent review will take place into how Gender Identity Development Services, which provide support to trans children and young people, can be improved.