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by Staff reporter
17 February 2022
Poll: Scotland divided over plans to reform Gender Recognition Act

Poll: Scotland divided over plans to reform Gender Recognition Act

A majority of Scots support proposals which would make it easier for trans people to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), a poll has found.

The survey carried out by Savanta ComRes on behalf of the BBC found 57 per cent in favour of making the process easier, with younger adults more likely to be supportive.

The Scottish Government is set to bring forward legislation to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), which would mean trans people no longer require a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before obtaining a GRC.

However, there is controversy over the move, which some campaigners argue will have implications for women-only spaces.

The BBC poll found that more than two-thirds of people (67 per cent) have not been following the debate closely.

The survey of more than 2,000 people over the age of 16 found that while 40 per cent of people support the right of trans people to 'self-identify' their gender, 38 per cent do not. The remainder either had no opinion or answered 'don't know'.

The Scottish Government first started formally reviewing the legislation in November 2017, with a vow to bring it into line with “international best practice”.

That led to ministers proposing a self-declaration system, ending the need to provide medical evidence and proof of living in the acquired gender for two years.

The first consultation on the new law between 9 November 2017 to 1 March 2018 received 15,967 responses, with 60 per cent of respondents in favour of reforming legal gender recognition.

However, there were concerns raised by campaigners for sex-based rights over the impact of the new legislation on the single-sex exceptions in the Equality Act. They also expressed fears the change in law could potentially place women in danger from men who might abuse a self-identification system.

Last month the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) warned the Scottish Government that plans to reform gender recognition laws in Scotland need “more detailed consideration”.

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