December 9, 2023


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UK criticised for ‘shameful culture war’ as GRR case gets underway#criticised #shameful #culture #war #GRR #case #underway

The legislation was passed by MSPs from all parties in December, in what was thought to be the culmination of one of the most terse political issues in the history of devolution.

But Mr Jack announced in January he would use the Section 35 mechanism for the first time to stop the Bill gaining royal assent.

Passed overwhelmingly by MSPs in December, the Bill would make it easier for trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate by removing the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, as well as dropping the required age and shortening the time required for the applicant to live in their acquired gender.

Read more: Gender recognition reform court case explained 

Today, lawyers from the Scottish and UK governments will begin a three-day hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh before Lady Haldane after Mr Yousaf pressed ahead with legal action at the use of the Section 35 by Mr Jack.

Scottish and UK Government lawyers will on Tuesday begin a three-day hearing at the Court of Session before Lady Haldane Ahead of the court case beginning, the Scottish Greens have accused the UK Government of having “scapegoated, demonised and ridiculed” the transgender community “as part of a shameful and cynical culture war”.

Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman said the case marks “an important week for Scottish equality and democracy”.

She said: “When our Parliament overwhelmingly voted for gender reform there were trans people across our country celebrating. After years of debate, it had finally been passed. Now they will be watching anxiously as a Court discusses their rights.

Read more: Alister Jack justifies gender reforms bill block to Holyrood committee

“Gender Recognition Reform was passed by a significant majority of our Parliament, including MSPs from all parties. It was a small change, but a proud day for Scotland that helped bring us closer to international good practice.”

Ms Chapman added: “Our trans siblings have waited far too long for rights that many of us take for granted. My heart and my solidarity goes out to them.

“Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be recognised as the person they are. GRR has always been a simple step towards doing that. “Yet UK Government ministers and others have knowingly scapegoated, demonised and ridiculed a small and vulnerable minority as part of a shameful and cynical culture war.

“It is shocking that we have been put in this position. If the Section 35 Order is allowed to stand it will set a terrible precedent for human rights and devolution. “If the UK Government succeeds in overriding the decisions of our Parliament then we can be sure it won’t be the last time they try it.”

But Scottish Conservative deputy leader, Meghan Gallacher, said it was “disappointing” that members of the SNP-Green Government “are determined to double down on their reckless gender self-ID Bill, when a majority of Scots firmly oppose it”.

Read more: Misinformation over gender recognition plans used to ‘whip up moral panic’

She added: “The public recognise – as women’s groups and many of my Scottish Conservative colleagues warned last year – that this legislation compromises the safety of women and girls.

“Those legitimate concerns were arrogantly dismissed by the Nationalist coalition – as well as Labour and the Liberal Democrats – who shamefully whipped their MSPs to vote for it.

“As well as endangering women’s safe spaces, the Bill impacts on equalities legislation across the rest of the UK, which is why the UK Government had no option but to issue a Section 35 Order.

“Instead of admitting the SNP-Greens got this badly wrong, Humza Yousaf is choosing to squander taxpayers’ money on a needless and unwanted court battle to manufacture constitutional grievance.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The Secretary of State for Scotland made a section 35 order to prevent the Scottish Government’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from becoming law because it would have an adverse effect on reserved matters, including on the operation of the law as it applies to Great Britain-wide equalities protections.

“The UK Government will robustly defend the decision to prevent the Scottish Government’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill from becoming law.”

#criticised #shameful #culture #war #GRR #case #underway

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