The UK government’s decision to block Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill from getting royal assent has been met with widespread backlash from LGBTQ+ activists.
The move was confirmed by Alister Jack, the Scotland Secretary, on 16 January when he announced that he will lay a Section 35 order at Westminster to prevent the legislation reaching its final stage – marking the first time in the 25 years since devolution that the British government has taken this step. “I have not taken this decision lightly,” Jack said in a statement. “The Bill would have a significant impact on, amongst other things, GB-wide equalities matters in Scotland, England and Wales.
I have concluded, therefore, that this is the necessary and correct course of action.” The Gender Recognition Reform Bill would have made it easier for trans people to change their legally recognised gender.
They would no longer need to be medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria before obtaining a gender recognition certificate as they would in the rest of the UK.