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The Scottish Government has been proposing to reform the GRA for several years, and has already carried out two public consultations (available here and here) to hear the opinions of people and organisations on this reform.
Lower the minimum age requirement for applicants to 16
Switch from a requirement for psychiatric diagnosis and medical evidence to a system of statutory declaration (“self-declaration”)
Reduce the requirement for two years living “in-line” with your gender to three months, with a three month “reflection period” between application and the certificate being issued
The changes in this proposal would be welcome, and would remove some of the key barriers trans men and women face to changing the sex on their birth certificates.
If passed, these changes would bring Scotland more in-line with many other countries around the world (such as the Republic of Ireland and Iceland) where trans people can self-declare their change of sex rather than having to provide medical evidence or other documents.
The requirement to have lived in-line with your gender for at least three months would be included in the individual’s statutory declaration and sworn under oath. This timeframe would make it easier for trans people to change their name and gender on all of their legal documents at the same time.
In general, these changes would signify a move towards a Scotland which is more in line with globally recognised best practice but, more importantly, where trans men and women have more autonomy over how they are legally recognised.
The need to sign a statutory declaration, saying that you identify and are living as a man/woman and intend to do so until death
All of the current legal effects of receiving a Gender Recognition Certificate – with no additional (or fewer) rights for those who have updated the sex on their birth certificate
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Scottish Trans is part of the Equality Network
Scottish Trans is the Equality Network project to improve gender identity and gender reassignment equality, rights and inclusion in Scotland. The Equality Network is a leading Scottish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights charity.
The Equality Network is a registered Scottish charity: SC037852, and a company limited by guarantee: SC220213.
We are grateful for funding from the Scottish Government