Is Scotland’s gender recognition reform bill harmful or helpful?

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Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill which was passed on December 2022 has had some reservations. Is the bill helpful or harmful?

The gender recognition reform bill makes it easier for transgender people to legally change their gender.

Members of the Scottish Parliament voted to allow transgender people to legally identify as the gender with which they identify and to be issued a new birth certificate without the need for a medical diagnosis.

The Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said that “the legislation makes no change to the reserved Equality Act 2010 and that principle is enshrined in the Bill. As I have made clear, the Scottish Government continues to support the provision of single-sex services and the rights of women.

“The passing of this bill is a significant step forward in creating a more equal Scotland, where trans people feel valued, included and empowered,” she said.

British government blocks the bill

Although the Scottish parliament have passed the bill, the British government has blocked it thereby causing a gender debate.

Alister Jack, the British government’s secretary of state for Scotland said that the reform bill violates equalities legislation that applies throughout the United Kingdom (UK) by treating people differently depending on where they live.

He said “after thorough and careful considerations of all the relative advice and the policy implications, I am concerned that this legislation would have an adverse impact on the operation of Great Britain-wide equalities legislation.”

The British government under the Scotland Act of 1988 has the ability to block laws that affect issues which fall under the purview of the British government.

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What is the gender recognition reform bill all about? What is the difference?

  • According to the bill; transgender people aged 16 and up who apply for a GRC must make a legally binding declaration that they are already living in their acquired gender and intend to do so indefinitely (permanently).
  • False applications will be treated as a criminal offence. A maximum penalty of imprisonment for up to two years or an unlimited fine or both will be issued for false applications.
  • Transgender people will be able to receive a new birth certificate without a medical diagnosis.

Is this bill helpful or is it harmful?

It may be helpful to the transgender community, in fact they are in total support of this bill which protects them and allows them to legally change their gender.

However there are some reservations about this reform bill. The bill has bypassed the need for a medical diagnosis which is very important.

The medical diagnosis helps to identify if the individual has gender dysphoria or gender identity. Knowing the difference is important?

Another issue is the age limit; 16. How mature is the mind of a 16 year old to decide if he or she wants to permanently change their gender.

There are lasting effects to the changes and can not be easily reversed. In fact some changes can not be reversed.

The mind set of the children should be considered, how solid is it? Is the child identifying as the other gender or is it going through a phase or gender dysphoria.

While the reform bill might help some people, it can be harmful to the little children who are not matured enough to take that decision.

Gender Identity VS Gender Dysphoria

The National Health Service (NHS) skillfully defined gender identity, gender dysphoria and the difference.

Gender dysphoria is a term that describes a feeling of unease caused by a mismatch between a person’s biological sex and their gender identity.

Gender identity is our understanding of who we are and how we see and describe ourselves.

Some people with gender dysphoria, but not all, may wish to express their gender identity through hormones and, in some cases, surgery.

Gender dysphoria is not a mental illness, but it can lead to mental health issues in some people.

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