Petition Repeal the Gender Recognition Act 2004

We call upon the Government to repeal the Gender Recognition Act 2004. The Act makes it impossible in practice to keep biological men - who are statistically responsible for most violent crime - out of single sex spaces for women.

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We call upon Government to repeal this law because we submit that:

(a) it is causing avoidable harm to women and children, who reasonably fear male violence;
(b) it is causing avoidable social unrest as women become aware that the GRA vitiates their right to single-sex spaces;
(c) "gender" is a subjective notion, properly categorised under Freedom of Belief, not as an objective characteristic like sex or age.

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Government responded

This response was given on 30 January 2023

As announced in 2020, we believe the Gender Recognition Act 2004 is effective, strikes the right balance and allows for those who wish to legally change their sex. We have no plans to change it.

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We are committed to upholding Britain’s long-standing record of protecting the rights of individuals against unlawful discrimination. Government is also clear that we want people who are transgender to be able to live their lives as they wish.

The previous Government launched a consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004. As part of the consultation process, we received over 100,000 responses and since it closed, considerable work has gone into meeting with a range of relevant stakeholders.

As announced in September 2020, we believe the current provisions in the GRA are effective and allow for those who wish to change their legal sex. The process has the right checks and balances. We believe that the process of legally changing one’s legal sex is a serious and legally meaningful undertaking which requires appropriate checks and a level of formality. We believe this strikes the right balance and have no plans to change it.

The Government is also committed to maintaining the safeguards that allow organisations to provide single-sex services, provided for separately via the Equality Act 2010. It is important that the principle of being able to operate spaces reserved for women and girls is maintained, in line with the Equality Act. Government is committed to tackling harassment and abusive behaviours by all individuals, and ensuring single-sex spaces are safe for those using them.

The Equality Act makes it clear that providers have the right to restrict use of spaces on the basis of sex and gender reassignment, whether or not someone has a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), where this is justified.

Cabinet Office

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