Home > News > Final vote on Gender Recognition Reform Bill due today – here’s what to expect

21 December 2022   |    News

Final vote on Gender Recognition Reform Bill due today – here’s what to expect

Today, we hope that MSPs will vote on whether the Gender Recognition Reform Bill should become law.

MSPs will restart debate on the Bill around 1.15pm, carrying on from yesterday’s proceedings which saw MSPs debating and voting on amendments in Parliament until past midnight.

MSPs debated around half of the amendments and voted on around a third of them, but so far no amendments have passed which would undermine the Bill, and amendments to raise the age of application back to 18 and to require medical evidence were voted down.

One amendment that passed was to remove explicit inclusion of asylum seekers in those who can apply. This was introduced to the bill at Stage Two, but the Scottish Government said that this would put the whole bill at risk, as immigration is an area of law reserved to the UK, so on balance we think this was the right decision.

This doesn’t mean asylum seekers will be unable to apply – just that they will need to be ‘ordinarily resident’ in Scotland, like all other applicants. We urge the Scottish Government to ensure that there is very clear guidance for trans asylum seekers, so they can make use of the new process while living in Scotland and waiting for the result of their claim – something that we strongly believe they should be able to do.

As there are a lot of amendments still to be debated and voted on, and then a two-hour debate on whether to pass the bill, the session may run late again. The final vote is currently scheduled for 6.30pm, but based on yesterday’s proceedings we expect it to be much later.

To pass, the Bill will need support from a majority of MSPs, which we think is quite likely given how MSPs voted on amendments yesterday.

If the Bill passes this vote, it will not come into effect immediately, but begin an implementation process where the Scottish Government and other relevant stakeholders will work to practically develop the new systems created by the Bill. We expect this to take around a year.

We will make a short post tonight announcing the results, and will also try to post updates about the proceedings on our Twitter: https://twitter.com/LGBTIScotland

You can watch the debate and vote live here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/

Yesterday’s debate was sometimes difficult to watch, and so we encourage trans people viewing today’s debates to take care and look after themselves, and ask our allies to look out for us too – we will get through this together.

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