Watchdog warns Nicola Sturgeon over her controversial transgender plan to allow self-identification

Watchdog warns Nicola Sturgeon that her controversial transgender plan to allow people to self-identify their legal gender risks ‘confusion’ in the rest of the UK

  • A watchdog has published a list of problems with the proposed legislation
  • Equality Act would allow self-identification without medical diagnosis
  • The watchdog said it would cause ‘practical difficulties or confusion’ in the UK

Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to allow people to self-identify their gender could cause ‘confusion’ over their status in other parts of the UK, a watchdog has warned.

A list of issues relating to the proposal, including access to services, has been sent by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to the UK and Scottish governments.

The watchdog said “practical difficulties or confusion are likely to arise in cross-border situations” if the Equality Act is passed by Holyrood.

The letter said people changing their gender in Scotland but in another part of the UK would face difficulties over their “legal status and rights”.

Officials added that there will be issues whether or not the UK government accepts Gender Recognition Certificates (GRCs) issued in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon has been warned the planned bill will cause confusion in other parts of the UK

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chair of the EHRC, warned that it would take

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chair of the EHRC, has warned there needs to be ‘more clarity’ in legislation in future

Employers and services would have difficulty determining a person’s legal sex and may have to take “intrusive or offensive” action such as asking to see a birth certificate or GRC, The telegraph reported.

The watchdog urged the two governments to “work together constructively” to address the issues he raised before the bill is passed.

People aged 16 and over would be allowed to change gender without being medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and would reduce the time for someone remaining in their previous gender from two years to six months. A debate on the Equality Act is scheduled for October 27.

The Christian Institute has said the Scottish government is risking ‘trans tourism’ if it goes ahead with its plan.

EHRC chair Baroness Kishwer Falkner told Westminster and Holyrood there needed to be “greater clarity” to push forward such legislation.

She added “it is assumed that a wider group of trans people” would travel from the rest of the UK to Scotland.

Baroness Falkner said sex discrimination laws would also be affected by the bill, including equal pay, the gender pay gap and measurement issues faced by women.


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