scotland’s trans law.

scotland’s trans law.
wapo: in december, scotland’s parliament passed a bill making it easier for trans people to legally change their gender. in january, the uk parliament blocked the bill, using its power to veto scottish laws for the first time ever
  • the scottish bill lowered the age to get a gender recognition certificate from 18 to 16, removed the requirement of a medical gender dysphoria diagnosis, and reduced the required wait time from 2 years to 6 months
  • scotland’s parliament is typically independent, but the uk parliament has the right to veto certain laws. this is the first time it’s used that power
  • the whole thing is super controversial, both bc of the trans rights issue and bc of concerns about the uk interfering w/ scotland’s legislative powers
scotland’s first minister, nicola sturgeon, said scotland will challenge the uk’s veto and “vigorously defend” the bill in court -- the ap
  • she also said the uk’s decision to invoke the rarely used section 35 to block the law was a “slippery slope” that “undermine[s] the scottish parliament”
  • and suggested that the uk gvt was using the hot-button issue of trans rights as a cover to encroach on the scottish parliament’s decision-making power
a scottish parliament member wrote in the guardian: this was an “attack on scotland’s powers” and a bad-faith decision. scotland consulted with the uk throughout, and the uk never raised any objections
  • the scottish parliament followed all appropriate procedure in creating the bill. it was careful, methodical, and engaged w/ the uk gvt throughout the process
  • instead of offering input and working together, the uk gvt was just radio silent up until the very last minute when it vetoed the bill
  • this shows just how little the uk gvt actually respects the scottish parliament and represents a real risk to scottish democracy
this tiktoker had a similar take: no matter where you stand on the trans issue, this is scary! if the uk can interfere in scotland’s laws whenever it feels like, that’s a huge threat to scotland’s democracy
    this op: “ignorance has won again” -- all the fearmongering about this bill just shows that the uk does not care about trans rights and does not understand trans people
    • the bill just removes some administrative barriers to getting a gender recognition certificate, which makes it easier for ppl to change their birth certificate
    • the uk blocked the law bc it could interfere w/ the uk’s own equality laws protecting women, but that makes zero sense!
    • ppl fearmonger w/ stories about men going into women’s bathrooms etc. but this is about legal documents. when’s the last time you had to show a birth certificate to use a public restroom?
    • plus, the bill also made it so that ppl who lie to get a grc can face up to 2 years in prison. it’s not some kind of free-for-all
    but this telegraph op thought the uk did the right thing: the bill would affect both scotland *and* all of the uk -- and it poses a real risk to single-sex spaces. for example, an english all-girls school would legally have to admit a trans girl with a scottish gender recognition certificate
    • scotland’s law would let 16-year-old biological males legally identify as girls. if a uk girls school rejected them, that would be illegal discrimination
    • same for other single-sex spaces like changing rooms, restrooms, and hospital wards. if they reject someone w/ a gender recognition certificate saying they’re a woman, they’d be violating the uk’s equality act
    • that means the scottish law also affects uk law more broadly, meaning the uk parliament totally has the right to block it
    and the times reported on a poll that found that around 2/3 of scottish voters opposed most of the bill. the only part that had majority support was criminal penalties for fraudulently getting a gender recognition certificate
    • the majority of scottish voters disagree w/ the bill, even those in more leftwing political parties
    • the only group that had majority support for the legislation was voters aged 18-24
    • one provision of the bill was still popular tho: it criminalized “knowingly [making] a false application to change gender” and made it punishable by up to 2 years in prison
    letter writers to the scotland herald were mixed. one said the uk’s veto was a gross overreach that threatens to strip power from the scottish parliament, but 2 others said the bill was dangerous and should def be blocked
    • one writer called westminster a “right-wing dictatorship” that’s stomping all over scotland’s right to write its own laws
    • but another said the uk was saving scots “from their own parliament”
    • he suggested that it be put to a referendum so scottish ppl could vote -- and that they would obviously vote against it
    this inews op said the uk’s big trans culture war is a sign of the the country’s deterioration: we’re becoming more “tribal, disconnected and terrified”. they pretend to protect women, but it’s just a convenient way to divide and distract
    • back in 2016, tory mps actually proposed many of the changes that scotland’s bill aims to make. it wasn’t controversial until culture warriors made it so
    • the ppl in power -- let’s be real, men and tories -- would prefer if women and lgbtq ppl were fighting among themselves over gender recognition certificates
    • it’s a convenient, hot-button distraction from the fact that the uk’s gvt is doing nothing to improve the lives of either women or lgbtq ppl, prevent violence against them, or tackle other issues like economic inequality