Home > Our Work > Gender Recognition Act Reform 2022 > Scottish Gov. Will Not Appeal GRR Court Ruling

Scottish Government Announces It Will Not Appeal Section 35 Court Ruling

Confirming what we already knew, the Scottish Government have announced today (Wed Dec 20th 2023) they will not be appealing the recent court decision that the UK Government acted lawfully when they blocked the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from becoming law. The Cabinet Secretary for Justice’s full statement can be found here.

We are bitterly disappointed about this, as we know many of you will be. The current process to update the sex recorded on our birth certificates is intrusive and difficult. Last year’s Bill was not perfect, but it was a huge step forward towards a much fairer and simpler process – so that in those rare but important moments in life where you need your birth certificate you can hand over ID that shows who you truly are.

So many of us worked really hard to help people understand why the law needed to change – and it’s important to remember that we succeeded, with a large majority of our MSPs voting in favour of the changes last year.

What now for the Bill?

We’re pleased that the Scottish Government intends to keep the Bill on the Scottish Parliament’s books, meaning that even though it can’t currently gain royal assent and become law, it could at a later date if the Section 35 order was lifted. While it’s clear that there is no path forward with the current UK Government to removing the block on the Bill, we hope that we won’t have to wait too long until a time where the political situation changes.

When it does, we will be strongly urging the Scottish and UK Governments to get round the table so that the Bill can move forward, and so Scotland can join the growing number of places around the world with progressive, fair and modern laws that respect trans people’s human rights.

What next?

We were pleased to hear the Scottish Government restate their support for trans equality, and to other commitments they have made to improve our lives.

There’s a lot more to do to make Scotland (and the wider world) a place in which trans people can live happy and healthy lives beyond gender recognition reform, and we will be working as hard as we can to contribute to those positive changes.

This is a setback and a disappointment – but once we’ve had a minute to catch our breath and rest over the holidays, we will get right back to work.

And finally…

We know that some of you will have been holding off on applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate using the current system, in the hope that you could use the fairer and simpler process that, if the UK Government had made a different choice, might even have just about been in place by now.

Given the uncertainty around when things might change, if you want to apply for a GRC we think that the best thing to do would be to use the existing application process. We are always happy to help you make sense of how to apply – so please be in touch if you need us.

We know that others might be unable to apply using the current process, because of all of the barriers it contains. We’re thinking of you today. If you’re upset, frustrated, disappointed – we are too. Please reach out and talk to the people around you if you need to.

Some places you can reach out are

Please note that these services may be affected by holiday opening hours.

Our love, strength, and solidarity to all x

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