Scotland: Regional Parliament votes in favor of controversial gender law

Scotland: Regional Parliament votes in favor of controversial gender law

Change of registered gender
Scottish regional parliament votes in favor of controversial gender law – London announces blockade

A young woman and an elderly man face each other, both holding protest signs, gesturing

Supporters and opponents of a controversial gender identity bill clash outside Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland

© Jane Barlow/PA Wire/dpa

In Scotland, after days of heated debate, the regional parliament has voted in favor of a bill to make it easier to change registered gender. The British government in London announced that it intends to block the law before it comes into force.

The regional parliament in Scotland voted Thursday night in favor of a bill that would make it easier to change the official gender record for trans people. The final vote had previously been delayed several times due to debates about numerous amendments. The bill is controversial and has been accompanied by protests from both sides outside Parliament House in Edinburgh in recent weeks. When the announcement was made in the Scottish Parliament, there was cheering, but there were also shouts of protest from the audience.

The British government in London has announced that it may block the law before it comes into force. “We share the concerns of many people about certain aspects of this bill and in particular the safety concerns for women and girls,” said UK Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack. According to reports in the Guardian, the British government is first trying to ensure that the draft has to be re-examined.

In Scotland, it should be possible to apply for a change of gender entry at the age of 16

The draft includes, among other things, that trans people can apply for an official change in their registered gender at the age of 16 instead of the previous age of 18. In Scotland, people aged 16 and over have legal capacity in other areas as well. A medical report should then no longer be necessary for an official adjustment, as in Germany planned with the Self-Determination Act. In addition, the time that a person with a gender identity should have lived before they can submit an application for an official change is to be reduced from two years to three months and for 16-17 year olds to six months.

According to some opponents, the bill potentially endangers the safety of women and girls. Some fear that male perpetrators could take advantage of the scheme to enter female spaces, such as women’s restrooms, for nefarious reasons. According to the Guardian, a UN expert, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, wrote to the government in a letter to the government, warning that the vote on the law could be influenced by “unfounded, negative stereotypes” that portray trans women as “violent or threatening ” see.

Debates on controversial bill

One of the most prominent critics is JK Rowling. The “Harry Potter” author, who has often caused an uproar with anti-trans statements, had previously spoken out against the draft law several times via Twitter. Her husband Neil Murray also joined protests by opponents of the draft in front of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday evening. Some MPs from the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) also spoke out against the law. SNP MP Ash Regan even resigned as Minister in protest at the proposal. MEPs from the Greens, who cooperate with the SNP, as well as the opposition parties Labor and the Liberal Democrats, had largely voted in favour, which is why the draft was given a good chance in advance. Supporters, including Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, argue that the bill will strengthen the rights of trans people and not devalue women’s rights. She proposed changing the law six years ago.

Draft law could lead to legal battle between UK and Scottish governments

In response to Britain’s announcement that it would block the law, the Scottish government said it would contest such a move. In a possible legal dispute between the governments, the British Supreme Court could also be involved again. It was only in November that he decided that the Scottish government should not hold a second independence referendum.

Sources: DPA, BBC, The Guardian I, The Guardian II, The Guardians III, The Guardian IV, The Herald

ckön / with DPA

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