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Message to young people: The Gender Recognition Act

On the 17th December 2019, the Scottish Government published the Draft Bill for reforming the Gender Recognition Act (2004) (GRA), and the consultation that will go along with this. 

Whilst we are pleased to see progress and want people to support the Bill, we also recognise that the Draft Bill will not achieve the asks you had – particularly options for under 16-year-olds and recognition for non-binary people.  Legislative change often comes in stages: civil partnership was stepping-stone legislation to equal marriage. We hope today’s Draft Bill will be a similar stepping-stone to equal recognition.


What we will do

  • We are here to support you through this consultation period, and to amplify your voices.
  • We will continue to support young people in youth groups, and through one-to-one support. Find your local youth group here.
  • We will continue to provide digital support through our LiveChat service.  You can use the LiveChat service on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm to 8pm.

LGBT Youth Scotland is going to respond to the consultation as an organisation and young people's voices will be at the forefront of this. Youth Workers will be supporting young people to input on our response. Importantly, this consultation is not about if the GRA should be reformed, but how.


What you can do

  • In January, there will be an opportunity in your local youth group to participate in a workshop, which will feed into our consultation response.
  • You can also respond to the consultation as an individual. We've produced a guide to how we think you should respond. 
  • It's okay to step back if you feel like you don’t want to participate in this consultation. It’s important to look after yourself.
  • We would encourage you to seek support from us, or from other organisations if you need it.
  • Take care of yourself, look out for each other, and take breaks from social media if you can.

Background to reform of the GRA

  • The Gender Recognition Act was originally passed in 2004, which enabled trans men and women to get legal recognition of their gender, and to access an updated birth certificate.
  • In November 2017, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act, to bring it in line with international best practice.
  • There were over 15,600 responses to the consultation. 60% of all responses, and 65% of Scottish responses were in favour of reforming gender recognition.
  • In June 2019, the Scottish Government announced a second consultation. The first consultation was on whether we needed GRA reform, and the second consultation is on how we will reform the GRA.
  • On December 17th, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on the draft bill to reform the Gender Recognition Act.

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