Part 1. Introduction and how to respond to this consultation
1.01. The 2004 Act allows transgender people aged 18 and over to apply for legal recognition of their acquired gender and to change their legal sex accordingly.
1.02.This consultation seeks views on reforming the 2004 Act. The Scottish Government proposes to streamline the process for obtaining legal recognition and also to allow people aged 16 and over to apply. We are also seeking views about the options for people under 16 and for recognition of non-binary people. This consultation is about the legal process of obtaining legal gender recognition: it is not about the services provided in NHS Scotland to transgender people.
1.03.The Scottish Government has also committed to seeking views about how we should address the issues experienced by intersex people. There is a separate consultation for this purpose, which will be published at http://consult.scotland.gov.uk/.
Why we are consulting
1.04. The Programme for Government 2016-2017  and Action 13 of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan  set out the Scottish Government's commitment to consult on the reform of the Gender Recognition Act.
1.05.Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. We will consider the views expressed in response to this consultation along with other available evidence to help inform the Scottish Government’s decisions.
Responding to this consultation
1.06.We are inviting responses to this consultation by 5pm on 1 March 2018.
1.07.Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government’s consultation platform, Citizen Space. You can view and respond to this consultation online at: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/family-law/review-of-the-gender-recognition-act-2004. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that you submit your consultation response before 5pm on the closing date, 1 March 2018.
1.08.If you are unable to respond online using Citizen Space, please submit your response by post. You must complete and return the Respondent Information Form at Annex A (see “Handling your Response” below) with your response. You can answer the Consultation Questions using Annex B Send your response and the completed Respondent Information Form to:
Gender Recognition Review
St. Andrew’s House
1.09. We will not accept responses submitted by email.
Handling your response
1.10.Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to published.
1.11.If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.
1.12.If the response comes from an organisation, we will indicate that the organisation has responded to the consultation.
1.13.The Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
Next steps in the process
1.14.Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, or offensive material, we will make responses available to the public at http://consult.scotland.gov.uk. If you use Citizen Space to respond, you will receive a copy of your response by email.
1.15.Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so.
Comments and complaints
1.16.If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by hard copy to the address at paragraph 1.08 above.
Scottish Government consultation process
1.17.Consultation is an essential part of the policy making process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.
1.18.You can find Scottish Government consultations online: http://consult.scotland.gov.uk. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views.
1.19.Consultations may involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as public meetings, focus groups, or other online methods such as Dialogue ( https://www.ideas.gov.scot).
1.20.Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:
- indicate the need for policy development or review
- inform the development of a particular policy
- help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
- be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented.
1.21.While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.