The Gender Recognition Act 2004 was passed by the UK Government

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(c) Cosmopolitan

By Legerwood

There seems to be a great deal of misinformation being peddled about the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) and the proposed reforms. Much of the misinformation/misdirection appears to be aimed at giving the impression that this is solely a Scottish Government initiative. It is not.

The GRA Act 2004 was passed by the UK Government in response to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR). The Labour/LibDem Scottish Executive in Holyrood agreed to the Act via a Sewel Convention.

So Gender Recognition has been in place since 2005. Around 5000 or so people have been through the process set out in the Act.

In 2015, early 2016 the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee recommended reform of the Act. In the 2016 Holyrood Elections every party included reform of the GRA in their manifestos.

The UK Gov held a public consultation on proposed reform of the Act. The Scottish Gov has held two public consultations the second of which coincided with the start of the pandemic. Both governments have now shelved the issue.

If I remember correctly in October 2020 the House of Commons Committee opened a new inquiry into the issue. It is ongoing.

It seems to me that this whole issue is being used by a group or groups who have an agenda that has little to do with reform of the 2004 Act and are determined to keep the pot boiling on the issue.

28 thoughts on “The Gender Recognition Act 2004 was passed by the UK Government

  1. Good summary. The GRA was introduced because the Church of England refused to sanction same sex marriage and the ECHR deemed that to deprive same sex couples the right to family life.
    Arguably, now that the right to same sex marriage is sanctioned, there is no longer any need for the GRA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If open debate which included Women’s Rights took place. If changes to legislation considered the wide range of issues such as Safety in Sport, performance in Sport, Safe spaces for Women. The safety in women’s prisons. If practical issues such as the time it will take to change the layout of toilets etc how will statistical data on health be impacted. If…if…if.

    The reality is a howling aggressive mob demanding our language definitions are changed. No discussion it now.

    What about Women?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Here is a link to the statement made to Parliament in 2019 by Ms Somerville which deals with some of the issues you raise and is particularly clear on the Equalities Act 2010
      And a quote from the statement on women only spaces such as toilets.
      “”One particular area of concern that has been raised about gender recognition reform – both during and since the consultation – is the impact it will have on the provision and protection of single sex or women only spaces and services.

      “Presiding Officer, it is vital to be clear on this important point.

      “The Equality Act [2010] already allows trans people to be excluded, in some circumstances, from single sex services where that is proportionate and justifiable, including where a trans person has legal recognition. The Government’s proposals to reform the Act will not affect that position.””

      Liked by 3 people

      1. And on sport. The current position under the GRA 2004 Act.
        GRA 2004

        This about Sport from the act
        “”(1)A body responsible for regulating the participation of persons as competitors in an event or events involving a gender-affected sport may, if subsection (2) is satisfied, prohibit or restrict the participation as competitors in the event or events of persons whose gender has become the acquired gender under this Act.
        (2)This subsection is satisfied if the prohibition or restriction is necessary to secure—
        (a)fair competition, or
        (b)the safety of competitors,
        at the event or events.
        (3)“Sport” means a sport, game or other activity of a competitive nature.
        (4)A sport is a gender-affected sport if the physical strength, stamina or physique of average persons of one gender would put them at a disadvantage to average persons of the other gender as competitors in events involving the sport.
        (5)This section does not affect—
        (a)section 44 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (c. 65) (exception from Parts 2 to 4 of that Act for acts related to sport), or
        (b)Article 45 of the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 ( S.I. 1976/1042 (N.I. 15)) (corresponding provision for Northern Ireland). ]

        Liked by 3 people

      2. TW are M who assert they are W. No human has ever changed sex. They are not W. They are TW. Some TW are sexual fetishists, some have dysphoria. But they should not be entitled to be put first before Ws established sex segregated rights. They should not get Ws protected jobs, or play Ws sports. They are a sub set of M. 80% of have retained their penises and they all have prostates. Just because they call themselves W? Its utter madness. And me, a W, saying this am called a bigot and a transphobe. Im not, its simple biological classification. I will not be silenced for stating facts.


  3. There were (2015 records) between 49 – 50 Thousand registered Sex Offenders in the UK.

    Any Police officer will tell you that the most common form of Sex Offending is Indecent Exposure or Peeping Tom / voyeurism. While these are at the lesser end of the scale in seriousness, they go onto the SOR for very good reason – multiple, cases where a ‘flasher’ went on to commit Rape and Murder.

    Another common factor with RSO is the lengths they will go to in order to perpetrate their crimes, and the deviousness they will deploy to succeed at same.

    Changes to the GRA should be done with care, for women, for children safety, and for the benefit of the 5000 people who have made the transition. I have no doubt that very few of them are Sex Offenders – but to assume that the 50,000 on the RSO list would not utilise changes to the GRA – particularly around Self ID laws, in order to commit sex crimes, is reckless in the extreme.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Changes to the GRA whatever shape or form they take would not stop someone dressing as a women (or man) and going into their spaces.

      At the moment there are an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 living as a trans person. They have no legal protection as those do who have gone through the procedures set out in the Act. If they keep within the law then they can quietly live their lives. Essentially they have self-IDentified but witbout any legal protection for their position.

      Would you recognise them in the street? In the toilet? Or in the changing cubicles in shops etc?

      How many of the 50,000 offenders you mention above fall into the trans categories?

      I understand people’s concerns but some have been magnified out of all recognition to what is actually happening based on evidence.

      There is a debate to be had but not the screaming match that seams to be happening in some quarters just now.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. No one is denying their human rights, and whether they *pass* is not the issue, the crux of the matter is that TW are not W. They are M who assert that they are W. Even though 80% retain their penises, they can self ID as W and then are considered W? They have some kind of psychosexual condition, not necessarily dangerous but dysphoria or paraphilia and have somehow managed to push their way into Ws sport, even though they have a huge advantage over W. Every TW in sport has stolen a place from a W, and every victory for a TW is a sham as they have cheated it from a W.
        W have already been raped in Ws prison by TW, and girls have been assauted in ladies supermarket toilets by TiM, TW.
        They want to change our language, our laws, taxonomy. All to validate their delusion that they are W in Ms bodies.No human has ever changed sex. Its impossible. Sex is binary. Sex classification must not be changed to the amorphous gender classification.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. 50,000 sex offenders. 100 women murdered a year. Perpetrator often within the family.

      The statistics do not support a theory that ‘flashers’ go on to murder. Far more women would be murdered.

      Giving co habiting women (the majority) equal rights (or 1/3?). would prevent abuse and violence. Instead of having to put in a claim through Courts. Costing £thousands. Without or little legal,aid. It has to be paid back in any case.

      Women could have the means to leave unhealthy or threatening situations. They would have the means to go or stay. Without interference. Have the necessary accommodation.


      1. Indeed and of course it impacts on those who genuinely are trans having had the procedure to change their sex, which can’t be an easy thing to do. It affects the person life long re their health etc.
        The self ID and using the trans issue to gain access to womens’ spaces is not something to be taken lightly. I was assaulted by a man dressed as a woman in the street two years ago, the police did nothing really, even though I had the misfortune to see the guy again at a bus stop where he blocked my way no joke, and so I shouted, though my knee in between his legs would have been appropriate. I took a photo from a distance! Clearly identifiable, and dangerous. Hope that’s not too TMI.

        Anyway it’s good to have intelligent discussion re this.
        I will say I had no idea GRA reform was now on the back burner in the UK, it’s alive and kicking on twitter and I presume in some news rags, my Graun reading friends in NE England just last week emailed to ask, shocked, (bad SNP) ‘what’s going on with the SNP and GRA and J Cherry’? They obviously don’t know that GRA is on the back burner in their own country either, I shall let them know.


  4. Baby boxes, carers allowance, gender lists, increased nursery care, social care, bus passes. Equal pay, uni support, £10 a week for children of low income households. Relieving poverty. Support for woman/children one parent families. Kinship payments, less need for fostering. Lower cost. Children stay within the family. Payment allowance for those in care. Council tax relief, assisted housing costs. Housing benefit.

    Educational grants for low income households, Affordable houses built. Bedroom tax eradicated. Welfare mitigated £100million+ a year. MUP. £250Million funding for (proper counselling) rehab facilities. Increased SNHS funding. Nursing bursaries. Increased Education funding. Etc, Etc. Helping women and others. Co habiting women need to be given equal rights and support. A priority.

    People have been sharing sports changing rooms for years. Without any problems. Millions every day. (Non pandemic). Families, children. Mixed. Separate cubicles. Family cubicles. Mother and baby cubicles. (Larger facilities/rooms). All in one shared area. It allows more people (women) to access the facilities. Swimming, sports centres etc. Years ago there were mixed changing. Separate cubicles around the pool. Male and females used them. The Art Deco pools in various places. Renovated.

    Absolutely safe. Video (card) access. Staffed barriers, There is a responsibility of safety. Code of practice. Or get shut/closed down. Safety rules and place to be followed. Trans people can use them no bother. They can be accommodated. There just needs to a designated trans separate. toilet. A notice put up on the door. Like a disable toilet.


    1. Your idea of safe and mine vary a lot. My niece was photographed from under a changing cubicle.with a mobile phone so Im not a fan of mixed changing rooms.Look up Karen White and Katie Dolatowski. TTW are M and should share Ms toilets and not Ws safe and private spaces. These must not be eroded to validate some Ms *feeling*


  5. 100 women are murdered a year. Mainly In households where they are know to each other. Families. Often under the influence of drink, drugs. 400 men. 200 knife crime in London. Austerity.
    67 million population, The perpetrators are mainly male.

    There are gender differences in crime statistic. Mainly committed by (young) males under the influence of drink/drugs. Sober they would be less likely to commit crime. (Testosterone). Males externalise – get angry. Females internalise – get anxious. Management/counselling can help. Women commit victimless crime. Not paying licence fee or shop lifting to feed families. Card fraud.

    The chances of stranger murder is extremely rare. Almost non existent. It could be prevented even further with the right, support and assistance. Including equal rights for co habiting women. To get away from abusive situations. To be safe. Take away a need for collaboration in rape cases. To achieve higher investigation, charging and conviction rates.

    Chances of getting murdered are almost non existent? Crime in exaggerated by MSM. Higher than the statistical figures. Scaring many people.unecessary. The crime rate is lowering.


  6. “In the 2016 Holyrood Elections every party included reform of the GRA in their manifestos.” Taking that at face value, might the following scenario play out in the next Holyrood parliamentary session?

    Consider that those persistent critics of the SNP & present SG leadership because of the position taken on gender recognition reform actually achieve their aim: they succeed in damaging the SNP’s electoral performance in the May elections.

    They succeed so well that the SNP fails to gain an overall majority and has to operate as a minority government. Their efforts also influence the second (list) voting, splitting pro-indy voting to the extent that insufficient indy supporting MSPs are elected to provide a majority of pro-indy MSPs.

    So we have a minority SNP government in a parliament without a cross-party majority for independence. That’s a bad enough outcome of a ‘successful campaign’. But let’s play out the scenario some more.

    The minority SNP government brings forward its gender recognition reform bill and this passes into law because there is indeed still (as in 2016) enough cross-party support for the reform.

    In such a scenario, the successful anti SNP/anti GRA campaigning would have scuppered the chance of the Scottish Parliament passing legislation to enable a second IndyRef (whether subsequently challenged legally by HMG or not) whilst the GRA would be passed anyway.

    Tell me please this scenario is a complete impossibility, i.e. the risk of it happening is zero! The irony would be too much for anyone, any movement, any nation desperately in need of its independence, to bear!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Both the UK Gov and Scottish Gov have withdrawn any plans to introduce reform of the GRA at this time.

      The second Scottish consultation on a draft Bill drawn up in late 2019 ended on 17th March 2020. The Scottish Gov halted the process on 1st April 2020 see the response to an FOI request related to this issue

      The responses have not been analysed. The first consultation in 2018 elicited 15,000 responses which were independently analysed. As you will see from the FOI request the submissions to the second consultation have not been analysed.

      Therefore it is very unlikely that there will be any movement on this issue before the election or for some time afterwards especially if there is a concerted move to hold Indyref2.

      Of course there are elements who want to keep this issue going and to characterise it solely as an SNP project which of course is not the case.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Legerwood you write: “Both the UK Gov and Scottish Gov have withdrawn any plans to introduce reform of the GRA at this time.” and you also refer to public consultations.

        I’m puzzled. Are you certain you’ve got this right?

        I’m sure I read here btl earlier today a prominent anti -SNP/SG and anti- GRA contributor tell us that: “The State is driving it (GRA) through without debate …”

        Or was the latter perhaps … what’s the word I’m searching for?


  7. There are far too many people on the spectrum in prison. Autistic, Asperger people. They have not received the support they need. 50%? of the prison population, The Police and authorities should get further diversity training. More education for additional needs support.

    Often the reactions of those on the spectrum (20% of the pop) are different from that of the considered norm. Without education their reaction can be perceived as violent. When in fact they are scared in an unfamiliar situation. They wish to protect themselves and need calm.

    People with additional needs should have more consideration and understanding when being accosted. Their difficulties can be taken into consideration with relevant support. Learning assistance. Not to be put into too stressful situations. Rendering a negative reaction,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is not applicable to the discussion of GRA Gordon. On the one hand you are saying people on the spectrum are more likely to be imprisoned, on the other they are victims? Sigh.

      It is true that here is a high incidence of people with learning difficulties sadly they are too often locked up, research is needed on this if not already available. I am not so sure about people on the autism spectrum in prisons, in mental health facilities for sure, but they tend to be the most law abiding rules following people in our society, sometines not always a good thing and yes they can be more vulnerable due to lack of awareness of dangers outdoors etc. Everyone with autism are as different to each other as you or I, that’s the problem, there is no one size fits all. As for GRA, I don’t see how this applies to people on the spectrum.


    1. But only for SG is it still ostensibly a live issue despite having been shelved. likewise it was shelved by WM, so why is there ONLY a hornet’s nest in Scotland ?
      I suspect most of us know it’s all psycho-warfare and propaganda, but enough appear to be convinced it’s imminent enough to scream loudly about it…
      The parallels with Brexit are quite obvious…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s being used to try divide and rule of course, the Britnats’ tactics of using religion failed, using sport failed, GRA is all they have now, it’s not as if the Brit state can say how wonderful the economy is so best ‘stay we love you lolz’, again, it just won’t wash.


      1. Portugal too, thanks for the alert. Worth a closer look in order to gain further insight and importantly, perspective before we place a pro-Indy majority in Holyrood in May at risk with all the consequences that would bring.

        For me, I hadn’t realised this about Iceland until today:

        Since a change in the law in 2019, trans people in Iceland will now be able to change their official gender according to their lived experience, and register as neither male not female (denoted with an “x” on documents). The Icelandic Parliament passed a Gender Autonomy Act: it was unanimously approved by the parliament on June 18, 2019 with 45 votes in favour, none opposed and three abstentions.

        The act confirms the right of the individual to change their gender in the official registry in accordance with their own experience and without having to meet conditions for diagnosis or medical treatment. The Act also ensures that children under the age of 18 can change their registered gender and name in the National Registry with the consent of their parents. If parents’ consent is not available, the decision is put before an expert committee.

        “The bill aims to respect and strengthen the self-determination of each individual as their own understanding of gender identity is the basis for decision-making regarding their public [gender] registration, as others are not better suited for this,” according to the words of a government press release. “The Act is also intended to safeguard the individual’s right to bodily autonomy and a working group will be appointed to ensure the legal status of children born with atypical sex characteristics.”

        The new law means that trans people in Iceland will no longer have to go through an invasive and lengthy medical process to change their legally recognised gender and access trans-specific healthcare. It also means that non-binary people will be able to change their legal gender at the national registry using the new third gender option of ‘X’.

        The law change in Iceland received support from groups including Amnesty International, children’s protection services and the Women’s Rights Organisation of Iceland according to the sources found.


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