Non-Binary Equality Working Group recommendations: Scottish Government response

The Scottish Government carefully considered the recommendations of the Working Group on Non-Binary Equality. This response outlines our position on each recommendation, and it will form the basis of our commitment to develop an action plan to take this work forward.


An image of Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Equalities and Older People.

I welcome the report and recommendations of the Working Group on Non-Binary Equality, which set out actions to strengthen and improve equality for non-binary people in Scotland.

The Programme for Government included a commitment to establish a Working Group on Non-Binary Equality (the 'Group') to consider steps to improve the lives of non-binary people. I would like to extend my thanks to all Group members for their time and dedication in producing their report.

The Group was composed of academics, key LGBTI stakeholders and, crucially, members with lived experience. It is their voices and perspectives in particular which are at the heart of this work and I want to thank everyone for sharing their personal experience.

The Group identified three key areas where change would have the most meaningful and significant impact for non-binary people – healthcare, data and law, and access to services – and the 35 ambitious recommendations focus on these themes and span many areas of public life. Some are relatively straightforward changes where the impact would be immediate, while others outline long-term systemic or institutional change that may not be felt for some time. They all have one thing in common; they aim to improve the lives of non-binary people in Scotland by proposing changes to either current policy, practice or the law.

The recommendations clearly articulate the barriers and exclusion faced by non-binary people in their everyday lives - when they interact with services, when they attempt to access rights or protections offered by the law, or when they seek support for their health and wellbeing – and they offer practical, considered solutions.

The government has given the Group's recommendations full and detailed consideration to ensure they were evaluated with the same attention and care that went into making them. We have accepted the majority of recommendations, either in full, or in cases where the recommendation is agreed in principle, but not to the full extent suggested by the Group, we have partially accepted. Where the recommendation and its impact was not adequately understood at this time, or its feasibility could not be established before publication, we have committed to considering it further. In a very few cases, we have declined the recommendation put forward by the Group due to it not being achievable or deliverable.

We want the actions we will take to be deliverable and bring about real, positive and lasting change to the lives of non-binary people. Following this publication we will develop an Action Plan and will work closely with the Group and stakeholders to do so.

I want Scotland to be a place where everyone's identity is recognised, respected, and celebrated, and where everybody can access rights and opportunities. I believe that advancing equality for marginalised groups ultimately advances equality for all. This is an opportunity for us to begin to improve conditions for the non-binary community and also for other marginalised communities in Scotland.

I want to reiterate my thanks to the Group for helping to advance that vision and I look forward to continuing to work together to improve equality for non-binary people in Scotland, as we strive for equality for all.

Christina McKelvie

Minister for Older People and Equalities



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