Labour: Government 'exacerbating pain and hurt’ in LGBT community

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Labour Party has accused the government of “exacerbating the pain and hurt in the LGBT+ community”, by not implementing any proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

Shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler said the government needed to “stop kicking the can down the road” on bringing in new rules on gender recognition.

The Act was first introduced in 2004 to give transgender people over the age of 18 legal recognition of their gender identity, as well as a new birth certificate to mark that gender.

Currently only people who have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and are able to provide a medical report on any surgeries or treatments they have had - as well as proof they have been living as their chosen gender for at least two years - can obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Once the certificate has been issued, the individual will be considered in the eyes of the law to have the gender they identify with, rather than the gender that was recorded at birth.

A public consultation was launched last year on whether to make the process easier, but no amendments to the Act have yet been made.

Women and equalities minister Liz Truss said the new rules need to be worked out carefully to make sure everyone gets proper protection.

But Ms Butler criticised the lengthy review, saying “The minister doesn't need to look at it carefully, the minister just needs to expose what came out of the consultation and amend the Act, as promised.”

The minister condemned violence against trans people but said of the reform: “I won't be rushed into it.

“I'm very keen that we protect single-sex spaces and vulnerable women, and we don't rush into reform before we've had the full, proper discussion.”

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