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The UK Equalities Office asks citizens how to improve the legal gender recognition process in a public consultation.
The UK Government Equalities Office launched a public consultation about the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA), which “seeks to understand the issues in more detail and explore ways in which we can improve the system”.
The GRA came into effect on 4 April 2005, and sets out the legal process by which a person can change their gender and officially register that change, to officially receive a gender recognition certificate.
GENDER CHANGE LEGAL PROCESS
The consultation, which covers England and Wales and closes on October 19, asks, among other things, whether two medical reports, one showing a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” and the other outlining details of treatment, are needed.
Since the GRA came into force, 4,910 people have legally changed their gender. This is fewer than those trans respondents to the government’s last LGBT survey, who “wanted legal recognition but had not applied because they found the current process too bureaucratic, expensive and intrusive”, the government explained.
“We are not putting forward any specific proposals for how we want the system to change. Only after we have gathered all the evidence will we set out what we think the new gender recognition process should look like”, it added.
They also pointed out that “we are not proposing any amendments to the Equality Act 2010, so that that a reform will not change the exceptions under the Equality Act that allow provision for single and separate sex spaces”.
EAUK: “THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT CONCERNS”
In its website, the UK Evangelical Alliance (EAUK) urges “our members to respond to this consultation as individuals and churches”.
The EAUK warns that with the consultation “the Government want to introduce self-identification and remove the current legal and medical process”.
Although the consultation suggests that any changes to the law will be limited and are simply designed to make the lives of trans people easier, “there are significant concerns that, in changing the process, the needs of those with the rare medical condition of gender dysphoria get lost”, it explains.
“There are also concerns that a number of unintended consequences may follow from the rush to legislate in this area”, the EAUK says.
The Alliance suggests some responses “to the questions in the consultation that can help inform your own responses”.