Blocking Scotland’s gender reforms would be ‘calamitous’, campaigners say

Campaigners have warned of “calamitous consequences” for trans people and the devolution settlement if the UK Government blocks Scotland’s gender recognition law. LGBTQ+

charity Stonewall has written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to voice its concerns as the UK Government considers legal advice about whether to use its powers to block the Gender

Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from becoming law. MSPs last month passed the Bill by 86 votes to 39, approving reforms which would allow trans people to obtain a gender

recognition certificate (GRC) without the need for a medical diagnosis. The Bill will also allow 16 and 17-year-olds to apply for a GRC for the first time, and would reduce

the amount of time a person has to live in their acquired gender before they can be granted the document. Multiple reports have suggested that the legal advice has given Mr

Sunak the legal cover he requires to apply a Section 35 order to prevent the Bill from gaining Royal Assent. Stonewall said that invoking Section 35 would be a “nuclear

option” and would start a constitutional fight over the devolution settlement for Scotland and Wales. In a letter to Mr Sunak, Stonewall chief executive Nancy Kelley and its

chairman Iain Anderson argued against blocking the legislation. They said they wanted to “urge caution about the calamitous consequences for trans people and the devolution

settlement that would come from this decision”.