Gender Recognition Act 2004 reform issues raised: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked for:
"(a) information on how many people have raised the issue of GRA-reform with their MSP's since the Cabinet Secretary for Equality's statement on 20-06-19, and if possible the percentages of people for whom this was in terms of wanting GRA-reform, and those having serious reservations about it / not wanting it; and 
(b) the same information (number of times GRA-reform has been raised with, and percentages for and against relating to people contacting the Scottish Government directly (including the Families Unit) on this issue, in the same timeframe."


By 'GRA', we understand that you are referring to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (the 2004 Act) and to the Cabinet Secretary's statement in the Scottish Parliament on 20 June 2019 on the Scottish Government’s review of the 2004 Act.

I enclose some of the information you have requested.
On your request (a) the Scottish Government does not hold all the information you have asked for. This is because the Scottish Government is not always party to correspondence between, or meetings involving, MSPs and their individual constituents or organisations. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. To the extent that MSPs have subsequently sent correspondence to the Scottish Government on behalf of an individual constituent or organisation or forwarded correspondence from such constituent or organisation, this information is included in our response below to your request (b).
You have asked for information about the number of times reform of the 2004 Act has been raised with Scottish Government since 20 June 2019. We have searched the ministerial and corporate correspondence systems on which we record emails and letters received by the Scottish Government. We have then identified those which the systems record as having been received by Scottish Government in the period from and including 20 June 2019 up to and including the date of your request. The date of receipt is the date on which a record was created in our correspondence systems for the item. 

On your request (b), we have identified 117 items of such letter or email correspondence received in the relevant period referencing reform of the 2004 Act.
We do not hold separate information analysing the views of correspondents or those on whose behalf correspondence was sent or copied to the Scottish Government. We have reviewed the items of correspondence identified as falling within your request, to endeavour to identify whether the correspondent expressed a view, either of the correspondent or those on whose behalf they have written or emailed the Scottish Government, that is in favour of reform of the 2004 Act or has concerns about, or is opposed, to such reform.
In 22 of the items identified, the correspondence (i) seeks or provides information, (ii) seeks clarification about the policy of reform, or (iii) seeks a meeting with a minister, or ministerial attendance at an event.
In 19 cases, the correspondence set out concerns about how Scottish Government proposed to proceed in relation to non-binary people or about delay in the proposed reforms, and a further 8 were supportive of proposed reforms.
In 68 cases, concerns about proposed reform or the perceived impacts of reform for women were expressed.
You will appreciate that correspondents often raise a range of different points and so this breakdown does not represent a full analysis of the points made.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top