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Thu, 13 August 2020

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Boris Johnson set to scrap plans to allow people to make gender change easier by ‘self-identifying’

Boris Johnson set to scrap plans to allow people to make gender change easier by ‘self-identifying’

Campaigners say the current system of changing gender is dehumanising (PA)

2 min read

Boris Johnson is reportedly set to scrap plans to make it easier for people to change their gender.

Plans drawn up under Theresa May which would allow trans people to “self-identify” as a different sex will be ditched by the current Prime Minister, according to The Sunday Times.

The measures would have allowed people to change their birth certificate without a medical diagnosis, something trans rights activists have been campaigning for.

Instead, the Government will set out new safeguards to protect female-only spaces such as refuges and public lavatories from being used by those with male anatomy.

They will also announce a ban on "gay cure" therapies in what is described as an attempt to placate LGBT people.

The newspaper said the details are contained in a leaked paper setting out Number 10's long-delayed response to a public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act.

It said around 100,000 responses were received, with around 70% in favour of allowing people to self-identify, but officials were said to believe that was "skewed" by responses from trans rights groups.

The current system requires those wanting to change their gender to pay £140 and apply to a panel for a certificate, and they must have two medical reports saying they have suffered from gender dysphoria.

They must also show they have lived in their chosen gender identity for two years and intend to do so for the rest of their lives, a procedure described by campaigners as dehumanising.

But a source told The Sunday Times: "In terms of changing what is on your birth certificate, you will still need to have proper medical approval.

"And you're not going to be able to march in and find a hippie quack doctor who is willing to say you're a woman. That's not going to happen."

The Liberal Democrat’s equalities spokesperson Christine Jardine said: "We have fought long and hard to ban conversion therapy, but if the Conservatives think the fight for LGBT+ rights ends there, they are very wrong.

"The Liberal Democrats will always stand up for equality and human rights for all, and that includes reforming the Gender Recognition Act to make it easier for people to gain legal recognition of their gender identity.”

She added: "It is time the Government stopped preventing trans people from living freely, and ensured that their rights and dignity were respected.”

A Government Equalities Office spokesperson said: "We will publish our response to our consultation on the Gender Recognition Act this summer.

"The Minister for Women and Equalities has also made clear that she will be bringing forward plans to end conversion therapy shortly."

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