Westminster threatens to block Scottish gender recognition law

The UK government may seek to block Scottish reforms making it easier for people to change gender.

It comes after the Scottish Parliament voted to lower the age when people can apply to change their legal gender to 16, and remove the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. But this has prompted a clash with the UK government who have concerns over safety for women and children.

Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish government says it will fight attempts to stop it.
On Thursday, members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) voted by 86 votes to 39 to approve the controversial self-identification system, which makes it easier for people to obtain a gender recognition certification (GRC).
The UK government could prevent the legislation becoming law by blocking Royal Assent – when the Bill gets formal agreement by the King and becomes an Act of the Scottish Parliament. It has also not ruled out mounting a legal challenge.

UK Minister for Women and Equalities Kemi Badenoch said the Scottish government has not addressed the implications of the bill on the lives of women and girls.

She said in a statement: “The UK government is now looking at provisions that can prompt reconsideration and allow MSPs to address these issues.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack warned: “We will look closely at that, and also the ramifications for the 2010 Equality Act and other UK-wide legislation, in the coming weeks – up to and including a Section 35 order stopping the Bill going for Royal Assent if necessary.”

Under UK law, it can apply to have Scottish laws struck down by arguing they would conflict with UK-wide equalities legislation. This power has not been used before.

Source: BBC

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