Gender Recognition

Home Department written question – answered on 16th July 2012.

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Photo of Hugh Bayley Hugh Bayley NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) when the Government intend to bring forward legislative proposals to address the issues identified in its transgender equality plan for action;

(2) what information her Department holds on initiatives taken to date by public bodies, businesses, practitioners and the voluntary sector to implement the commitments set out in the Government's transgender equality plan for action.

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

holding answer 13 July 2012

: “Advancing Transgender Equality: A Plan for Action”, the first action plan for transgender equality was published in December 2011 and placed in the House Library. It includes a range of largely non-legislative measures to improve the lives of transgender people in a number of areas of public policy, including hate crime, health, education and employment.

A number of those commitments have already been delivered, including the publication on 14 March 2012 of “Challenge It, Report It, Stop It”, the cross-Government action plan to tackle all forms of hate crime; active engagement with representatives from the transgender community during the Government's consultation on equal civil marriage, which closed on 14 June 2012; and a landmark conference which I hosted on combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity as part of the UK Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.

The action plan made one commitment to introduce legislation, namely to amend section 146 and schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This amendment, included in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, which received Royal Assent on 1 May 2012, provides for sentences to be aggravated for any offence motivated by hostility towards the victim on the grounds of being transgender, and for a 30-year starting point for murders motivated by hostility towards the victim on the grounds of being transgender. The Government expects to commence these provisions by the end of the year.

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