1. Purpose and intended effect
1.1. The provisions of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 ("the GRA") provide for trans men and women to apply for legal gender recognition on the basis of their "living in the other gender" or "having changed their gender under the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom". The GRA describes the gender of a person who is living in the other gender or has changed their gender under the law outside of the UK, as their "acquired gender".
1.2. The Bill, if implemented, would introduce a reformed process in Scotland by which a trans man or woman aged 16 and over who was born or adopted in Scotland or was ordinarily resident here, could seek legal recognition of their acquired gender ("Scottish applications"). To achieve this, the Bill repeals and replaces certain provisions of the GRA for Scotland and makes connected consequential changes to other provisions of the GRA.
1.3. The Scottish Government considers that the existing arrangements under the 2004 Act are too intrusive and onerous for applicants. The objective of the provisions of the Bill for Scottish applications is to remove the existing requirements under the 2004 Act for applicants under the standard and alternative track to:
- provide medical evidence;
- provide documentary evidence of their having lived in their acquired gender for a minimum period of 2 years; and
- have to submit their applications to the Gender Recognition Panel, a tribunal.
The Bill replaces this with a scheme based on the use of statutory declarations, and also makes provisions for the recognition in Scotland of individuals who obtained gender recognition in another country or territory.
Rationale for Government intervention
1.4 Adopting a new system for legal gender recognition in Scotland would require an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
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