Closed petition Reform the Gender Recognition Act.
Reform the GRA to allow transgender people to self-identify without the need for a medical diagnosis, to streamline the administrative process, and to allow non-binary identities to be legally recognised.
The response gathered by the government showed strong support for this reform with 70% in favour, but the results seem to have been ignored by policy makers.
The current process is distressing and often humiliating for transgender people, as well as lengthy and costly making it inaccessible to many people. Reform is needed to improve the lives of trans people, and I don't think the proposed measures will negatively impact existing provisions under the Equalities Act.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
Parliament debated this topic
This topic was debated on 21 February 2022
This response was given on 7 October 2020
We want transgender people to be free to live and prosper in modern Britain. The Government looked carefully at the issues raised and believe that this legislation strikes the right balance.
Read the response in full
We want transgender people to be free to live and to prosper in modern Britain. We have looked carefully at the issues raised in the consultation, including potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004.
It is the Government’s view that the balance struck in this legislation is correct, in that there are proper checks and balances in the system and also support for people who want to change their legal sex.
We will make the gender recognition certificate process kinder and more straightforward. We will streamline the administrative process and cut bureaucracy by enabling applications via gov.uk and we will also reduce the fee from £140 to a nominal amount.
We know from our research that improving healthcare support is a priority for transgender people. That’s why we’re opening at least three new gender clinics this year, which should see waiting lists cut by around 1,600 patients by 2022, and why the GEO is providing funding for the Dr Michael Brady, the UK’s National LGBT Health Advisor, and working with him and the NHS to improve transgender people’s experience.
It is also important that we protect single-sex spaces in line with the Equality Act. The law is clear that service providers are able to restrict access to single sex spaces on the basis of biological sex.
Together this upholds the rights of transgender people and women, ensures that our system is kinder and more straightforward, and addresses the concerns of transgender people.
Government's Equalities Office
Other parliamentary business
MPs debate the Government's response to its consultation on the Gender Recognition Act
On Thursday 24 September, MPs debated the Government's response to the recent consultation on the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004.
The debate was prompted by an Urgent Question from Crispin Blunt MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global LGBT+ Rights, to Equalities Minister Liz Truss MP.
Read the Government's response to the GRA consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-responds-to-gender-recognition-act-consultation.
Watch the debate: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/f63a02f0-0018-4a77-b8d4-037dc41e3558?in=10:38:15
Read the transcript: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-09-24/debates/9A57DC36-172D-40CF-98D6-502F1B9A78F0/GenderRecognitionActConsultation
Find out more about the APPG on Global LGBT+ Rights: https://www.appglgbt.org/
Find out more about Urgent Questions: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/urgent-questions/
Update on petition debate
The Petitions Committee considered this petition at its first meeting after it reached 100,000 signatures and have agreed it will be scheduled for debate.
Due to the backlog of petitions awaiting debate and the closure of Westminster Hall until 5 October, it is not yet possible to confirm a date for this debate. As soon as a date for this debate has been confirmed, you’ll get another update.
In the meantime you can follow the Committee on Twitter for updates on work on this issue and others: https://www.twitter.com/hocpetitions
What is the Petitions Committee?
The Petitions Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that considers e-petitions submitted on Parliament’s petitions website and public (paper) petitions presented to the House of Commons. It is independent of the Government.
You can find more information about the Committee on the website:
This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
Report on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act published by MPs
The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report looking at Reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and related areas.
Read the Committee's report: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmwomeq/977/report.html
Among the recommendations made in its report the Committee has said that the Government should:
- Remove the requirement of a 'gender dysphoria' diagnosis from the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate, thus de-medicalising transition.
- Remove the requirement for trans people to have lived in their acquired gender for two years, as well as the need for spousal consent.
- Clarify what the barriers are preventing non-binary people from gaining legal recognition
- Urgently publish new guidance, incorporating worked examples and case studies, which would clarify where single-sex and separate-sex exceptions can be applied to the 2010 Equality Act.
- Develop a specific healthcare strategy for transgender and non-binary people, including training for GPs around treating trans and non-binary patients and improved access to support services.
Read more about the report, including a comment from Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/news/160020/gender-recognition-process-urgently-in-need-of-reform-say-mps/
What happens next?
The Government now must respond to the Committee's report, which was published on 21 December 2021, within two months. The Committee will publish the Government’s response here: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/publications/
What is the Women and Equalities Committee?
The Women and Equalities Committee is a cross-party group of MPs appointed by the House of Commons to examine the work of the Government Equalities Office (GEO). It holds Government to account on equality law and policy, including the Equality Act 2010 and cross Government activity on equalities. It also scrutinises the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Find out more on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/
You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:
This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament
You can sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://learning.parliament.uk/en/your-uk-parliament-newsletter-sign-up-form/