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Tell the Scottish Government not to make changing gender easier

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We have published our response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act (2004). You can read it in full here. The closing date for the consultation is 1 March this year. If you live and/or work in Scotland, please make use of our response to formulate your own response using your own words. Meanwhile these are some of the most basic points to make.

Puberty is not a disease to be cured

Puberty is not a disease; it is a perfectly normal, healthy and necessary part of human development for both sexes. Allowing gender recognition for people under 18 will only pathologise puberty, leading to ever more children and teenagers being allowed to cross-dress, take cross-sex hormones and be referred for radical surgery.

Stop colluding with child abuse

There is evidence from English courts as well as clinical literature that some children and young people have developed gender identity problems because at least one parent did not want them to be a child of a particular sex. Such parents celebrate and encourage gender reassignment for their children. This is child abuse. It must be stopped.

Defend the traditional family, marriage and children

The Scottish Government is asking whether Scotland should do away with the ‘spousal veto’, which means that the non-transgendered spouse of a person who wants to change gender currently has to agree to this. At present gender recognition is grounds for divorce on the part of the non-transgendered spouse in Scotland.

For the Scottish Government to even ask whether the spousal veto should be abolished is effectively to ask whether children of those marriages should be deliberately deprived of their father actually living as a man, or of their mother living as a woman. This is callous in the extreme.

Don’t let the Scottish government treat this as a ‘done deal’

The Scottish government has made it clear that it intends for ‘arrangements [to be] in place by 2020’ for lowering the minimum age of gender recognition. This makes a mockery of the whole process of holding a consultation. For it is clear that the Scottish Government has already decided that it will lower the minimum age in Scotland. Don’t let the Scottish government get away with this.

The government of the UK has been forced to postpone its cancel on reforming the Gender Recognition Act because so many of us protested against liberalising the law. Scotland should wait before acting rashly.

A positive alternative for public policy

It’s not all doom and gloom! Our response shows how interpreting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child properly can help produce policies to help children be treated with respect and dignity as members of their sex.

Article 2 of the text of the Convention itself lists sex and not ‘gender identity’ as a characteristic of a child that should be respected and protected. Moreover UK law (Equality Act 2010, Human Rights Act 1998) lists sex, not gender identity, as a protected characteristic.

Instead of pursuing the path of gender recognition for under-18s, the Scottish Government should use all the powers it has to disseminate information and policies aimed at helping all children grow in self-love and self-acceptance as members of their sex.

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