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Scotland's reforms to the Gender Recognition Act in 2022

By Soon Minh


A new system for gaining legal gender recognition for transgender people will be introduced in Scotland in 2022. [1] The proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 will shorten the required period of time for trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC). They will have to live as their ‘acquired gender’ for three months, followed by another three months of ‘reflection’ before receiving a GRC.


Prior to the introduction of the draft Bill, the Scottish Government held a consultation with various organisations and members of the public, where respondents were mostly split between those who supported and opposed a statutory declaration-based system. Additionally, a slim majority of respondents thought that the minimum age for applying for legal gender recognition should be lowered from 18 to 16. [2]


However, even without a GRC, trans people in Scotland will be able to self-identify in the 2022 Scottish census. [3] That is, they can answer the sex question according to how they self-identify, rather than according to their birth certificate.


The Scottish police have indicated that they will recognise the gender of sex offenders based on how they identify, [4] which sparked a heated online discussion between writer JK Rowling and trans activists.





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