The British Youth Council has expressed deep concern at the government’s unprecedented decision to intervene in new legislation which was due to simplify the process for legal recognition of trans people’s gender in Scotland. The government has announced it will use Section 35 of the Scotland Act to block the Scottish Government’s attempts to bring forward the Gender Recognition Act.
The charity, which represents millions of young people across the UK, has stated it believes the UK Government must reverse its decision on this matter. Trans people living in other parts of the world enjoy the provisions laid out by their respective governments which provide many of the protections set out in the Scottish Gender Recognition Act.
The national youth council also expressed concern for the added stress and anxiety this decision will have on trans young people across the UK, especially in Scotland. This intervention comes with a backdrop of pervasive misinformation about trans people, their lives and the impact of strengthening their rights. Trans people should be able to navigate their day-to-day lives with legislators’ full backing and support. Our members believe we have a duty to work to combat the legal and social barriers that trans people continue to face in modern society.
Speaking on behalf of the charity, Ali Gibson, Trustee of the British Youth Council said: “We are deeply concerned by the news that the UK Government has decided to block the Scottish Government’s attempts to modernise the gender recognition process in Scotland.
“This unprecedented intervention by the UK Government will set back the advancement of trans rights and cause unjustified harm to trans people who just want to live their lives with respect and dignity.
“We are also concerned about the way in which this decision will feed the growing misinformation about trans people and the legislative changes being proposed to enhance their lives.
“The UK Government should reverse its decision, respect the mandate and a majority vote of the Scottish Parliament as well as upholding its commitment to support and protect trans people in the UK.”
The UK Government has opportunities to extend and enhance the existing rights of LGBT+ communities in the UK starting with enacting the government’s LGBT Action Plan which included bringing forward provisions for legal recognition of non-binary people.
The British Youth Council, a youth-led charity, has been taking the voices of young people to the heart of decision-making for seven decades on a range of issues including matters of equality. As an inclusive charity, they reiterate their commitment to providing a safe space to young transgender and non-binary people.