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Scotland’s parliament passes pro-transgender bill

In Scotland, the parliament passed a bill that lowers the age that people can apply for a gender recognition certificate (GRC) from 18 to 16, and similarly scraps a certification requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

Photo by Cierra Henderson from Unsplash.com

In Scotland, the parliament passed a bill that lowers the age that people can apply for a gender recognition certificate (GRC) from 18 to 16, and similarly scraps a certification requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. With this, Scotland becomes the only nation in the UK to eye to simplify the process of transitioning.

Although the Scottish parliament backed the bill by 86 to 39 in a vote, the UK – with Scotland a part of the so-called “empire” – signaled its non-support for the same, thereby possibly preventing it from becoming law. Even if bills are democratically passed by countries under UK, these still need to be “approved” by the non-elected head of the monarchy; and the UK government is expected to seek to prevent this bill from becoming law by blocking Royal Assent (i.e. when it reaches Charles, who became king after the demise of Elizabeth II).

In any case, the new bill – if passed – would allow anyone aged 18 or older to apply for a GRC Certificate without a medical certification if they have lived in their declared gender for three months, or six months if they are 16-18 years old. The current practice is for applicants to have identified as said gender for two years minimum.

The bill similarly gives applicants a three-month “reflection period” when they can reconsider their decision.

It will also be possible to de-transition by going through the process again.

The Scottish government has yet to set a date for the bill to take effect in 2023.

Already, people in Scotland have been able to change their legal gender from male to female or female to male since 2005.

To date, nine European countries already adopted self-declaration systems for legal gender recognition, including Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland.

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