A CONSULTATION will be launched on changing the Gender Recognition Act in order to make it easier for transgender people to change their legal sex, the government announced at the weekend.
Justine Greening, who is Women and Equalities Minister as well as Education Secretary, said the decision was part of “building an inclusive society that works for everyone” and would “build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years,” a reference to this Thursday’s 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act that partially decriminalised homosexuality.
Currently changing sex involves a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and evidence that the applicant has been in transition for two years.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the government to change this last week, saying his party would support government moves to bring in a system of self-identification not dependent on medical tests.
LGBT campaign Stonewall activist Suzanna Hopwood welcomed the announcement, saying: “The current system is demeaning and broken.
“It is vital that this reform removes the requirements for medical evidence and an intrusive interview panel, and finally allows all trans people to have their gender legally recognised through a simple administrative process.”
But TUC LGBT+ committee member Debbie Hayton cautioned that the consultation must be a genuine listening exercise.
“While reform is desperately needed, it is vital that the government consults widely and listens to any concerns,” she said.
“Laws offer limited protection if they do not have widespread support.”