The government wants to change gender identity laws in the UK

Advocates say the changes could drastically improve the lives of trans people

Gender Identity and the right to be yourself

On 3rd July 2018, the government opened a consultation on reforming the 2004 Gender Recognition Act
The Act gives trans-people the right to change their legal sex on their birth certificate
But the current process is invasive, dehumanising and lengthy and treats trans people as if they have a mental illness
Applicants must be assessed by an anonymous medical panel for gender dysphoria…
...and must provide evidence they have lived their acquired gender for 2 years
Additionally, a spouse can prevent an applicant from acquiring gender recognition…
...which could be used to abuse and control their partner
You must also be at least 18 years or older in order to qualify for legal gender change…
...and non-binary people are forced to choose between “male” or “female” as their gender
So despite the act having been revolutionary at the time, it does have big limitations

But what’s being proposed to amend the law?

So far, no official changes have been announced to the act
But the consultation, which closes 19th October 2018, seeks the advice of the public
It’s hoped that a new “self-identification” system will be instituted
Allowing people to simply confirm their own gender without having to prove it with medical evidence and a lengthy process

What will happen next?

Self-identity is a core part of being free within society
Human rights laws have been instrumental in helping trans people claim their rights
Christine Goodwin’s successful 2002 human rights case resulted in the Gender Recognition Act
The issues around trans rights are not always straightforward
But ultimately to express yourself openly and without discrimination is a fundamental right we all deserve

Equality, Women

Reforming the UK’s Gender Recognition Act

Published on 29 Nov 2019

What is the UK’s Gender Recognition Act and why do many say it needs to change?

The proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act could be a watershed moment for the rights of transgender people in the UK. Watch our explainer video on the way the law works at the moment and reasons people aren’t happy about it.

Want to learn more? Check out our spotlight on the Gender Recognition Act and what it means for trans rights in the UK.

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