Scotland is on the way to adopting some of the most progressive gender legislation in Europe. But seldom subject will have so divided the company and especially the Scottish political leaders – with the exception of that of the independence of the country.
The “Gender Recognition Reform Bill”, currently under discussion in Holyrood (the Scottish Parliament), aims to radically facilitate the acquisition by trans people of a “Gender Recognition Certificate” (GRC), a certificate establishing that their gender “is not the one who [leur] was assigned at birth”. This official document makes it possible to claim a new birth certificate, taking into account the new gender identity. It also makes it possible to obtain recognition of this change on identity papers.
The GRC has already been available in British – and therefore Scottish – law since 2004, but to obtain it trans people must have a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria”, i.e. distress linked to the gender gap assigned to a person and their gender identity. The bill eliminates this step of the medical diagnosis: a simple declaration is enough, which can be produced only three months after the person concerned “started living in her new gender identity”.
The minimum age for claiming a GRC is also lowered from 18 to 16 years. “The current system is intrusive, far too complex and demeaning. Many transgender people do not apply because of these barriers. We want a simplified, more human and less medicalised approach”explained Shona Robison, the minister for social justice of the Scottish government, during the introduction of the text at Holyrood, in March.
JK Rowling reviews
The Scottish National Party (SNP), the independence party that has dominated the political life of this nation of the United Kingdom for fifteen years, has been committed to completing this simplification since at least 2016. But the reform has been regularly postponed. both the debate it arouses is lively, even toxic, pointing a part Scottish women’s organisations. Grouped within the association For Women Scotland, the latter ensure that the text of the law does not sufficiently protect the rights of women. According to them, it would not prevent possible opportunistic behavior by sexual predators claiming a gender change to access spaces reserved for women.
Among these critical voices, that of a world publishing star, JK Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series, a Scottish by adoption who does not hesitate to publicly express her refusal of the denial of biological sex. for the benefit of gender. In October, when debates began at Holyrood over reforming the Gender Recognition Bill, the writer posted a photograph of herself wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the message « Nicola Sturgeon [la première ministre écossaise et cheffe de file du SNP] destroys women’s rights.
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