Gender Recognition Act Consultation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:38 am on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities 10:38 am, 24th September 2020

We want transgender people to be free to live and prosper in modern Britain. We have looked carefully at the issues raised in the consultation, including potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004. It is the Government’s view that the balance struck in this legislation is correct, in that there are proper checks and balances in the system and also support for people who want to change their legal sex.

We will make the gender recognition certificate process kinder and more straightforward. We will cut bureaucracy by enabling applications via, and we will also reduce the fee from £140 to a nominal amount. We know from our research that improving healthcare support is a priority for transgender people. That is why we are opening at least three new gender clinics this year, which will see waiting lists cut by 1,600 patients by 2022, and it is why the GEO is providing funding for Dr Michael Brady, the UK’s national LGBT health adviser, and working with him and the NHS to improve transgender people’s experience.

It is also important that we protect single-sex spaces in line with the Equality Act 2010. The law is clear that service providers are able to restrict access to single-sex spaces on the basis of biological sex. It is also important that under-18s are properly supported in line with their age and decision-making capabilities. That is why Dr Hilary Cass, former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, will lead an independent review into gender identity services for children and young people. The review will look to ensure that young people get the best possible support and expertise throughout their care, and it will report back next year. Together, this upholds the rights of transgender people and women, ensures that our system is kinder and more straightforward, and addresses the concerns of transgender people.