Reform of the Gender Recognition Act
The Government has published its proposals for changes to the gender recognition process and set out how it plans to move forward. The Women and Equalities Committee will examine these proposals, gathering evidence on whether the Government’s proposed changes are the right ones and whether they go far enough.
This inquiry will explore what changes, if any, should be made to the existing legislation, in order for current legislation to improve transgender equality.
The written evidence published as part of this inquiry will be used to inform the work of the Committee. Publication of written evidence does not equate to an endorsement of the views it contains by the Committee.
The committee wants to hear your views. They say that they will welcome submissions from anyone with answers to the questions in the call for evidence. You can submit evidence until Friday 27 November 2020.
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) sets out a process that allows individuals over the age of 18 to receive legal recognition of their acquired gender. Applicants must apply to the Gender Recognition Panel to receive a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), which from the date of issue, considers the applicant, in law, to be of their acquired gender.
In July 2018 the Government opened a consultation on how best to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004. In September 2020, the Minister for Women and Equalities set out the Government’s proposals, in response to this consultation:
The Government said it would:
· Place the whole procedure online
· Reduce the fee from £140 to a “nominal amount”.
· Open at least three new gender clinics this year in order to reduce waiting lists.
Alongside this Statement, the Government Equalities Office published an of the consultation response.
This inquiry focuses specifically on the questions below. The Committee encourages evidence from individuals as well as organisations. You can answer as many or as few questions as you like.
The terms of reference set out below are split into two sections. The Committee may decide to conduct the inquiry over two different phases.
Terms of reference
The Government’s response to the GRA consultation:
- Will the Government’s proposed changes meet its aim of making the process “kinder and more straight forward”?
- Should a fee for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate be removed or retained? Are there other financial burdens on applicants that could be removed or retained?
- Should the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria be removed?
- Should there be changes to the requirement for individuals to have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years?
- What is your view of the statutory declaration and should any changes have been made to it?
- Does the spousal consent provision in the Act need reforming? If so, how? If it needs reforming or removal, is anything else needed to protect any rights of the spouse or civil partner?
- Should the age limit at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) be lowered?
- What impact will these proposed changes have on those people applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, and on trans people more generally?
- What else should the Government have included in its proposals, if anything?
- Does the Scottish Government’s proposed Bill offer a more suitable alternative to reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004?
Wider issues concerning transgender equality and current legislation:
- Why is the number of people applying for GRCs so low compared to the number of people identifying as transgender?
- Are there challenges in the way the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2010 interact? For example, in terms of the different language and terminology used across both pieces of legislation.
- Are the provisions in the Equality Act for the provision of single-sex and separate-sex spaces and facilities in some circumstances clear and useable for service providers and service users? If not, is reform or further guidance needed?
- Does the Equality Act adequately protect trans people? If not, what reforms, if any, are needed
- What issues do trans people have in accessing support services, including health and social care services, domestic violence and sexual violence services?
- Are legal reforms needed to better support the rights of gender-fluid and non-binary people? If so, how?
You can submit evidence until Friday 27 November.
If your submission is accepted by the Committee, it will usually be published online. It will then be available permanently for anyone to view. It can’t be changed or removed.
If you have included your name or any personal information in your submission, that will be published too. Please consider how much personal information you want or need to share. Your contact details will never be published.
Decisions about publishing evidence anonymously, or about accepting but not publishing evidence, are made by the Committee. If you want to ask the Committee to keep your evidence anonymous (we’ll publish your evidence but not your name or personal details) or confidential (the Committee will read your evidence but it won’t be published) then please tick the box on the submission form. This lets the Committee know what you would like but the final decision will be taken by the Committee.
We can’t publish submissions that mention ongoing legal cases – contact us if you are not sure what this means for you.
More guidance on providing written evidence to a select committee can be found .
Please feel welcome to discuss any questions with the Committee staff at firstname.lastname@example.org;
We understand that the issues raised in this inquiry may be potentially complex or sensitive. The Committee cannot provide advice on cases.
If you would like support about any of the issues raised, you may wish to contact a specialist support service, such as:
– 0808 800 0082
– 0300 123 3393
– 116 123
If you would require additional advice or support on a range of other issues you may wish to contact on 03444 111 444.
Committees of the House of Commons are not able to take up individual cases but if you would like political support or advice you may wish to contact your local M.P.
Click on this link for more information: https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/291/reform-of-the-gender-recognition-act/