Farry expresses concern over reports Government may change trans laws

Alliance MP Stephen Farry has expressed concern over reports the UK Government is due to scrap plans to allow people to change their legal gender by self-identifying as male or female.

Media reports suggested Equalities Minister Liz Truss was ready to sign-off on the plans, which reverse measures by the previous Conservative Government allowing people to change their birth certificate without a medical diagnosis.

North Down MP Dr Farry has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to urge him to dump the plans and uphold previous commitments to trans members of the community.

“I am deeply concerned by these reports, which amount to nothing more than anti-trans proposals by abandoning the vital and overdue reform of the Gender Recognition Act,” he said.

“Trans people are amongst the most vulnerable in society, at considerably elevated risk of suicide, hate crime and domestic violence. They also face overly intrusive and bureaucratic processes for legal gender recognition and access to services is critically underfunded. Meanwhile, the Gender Identity Clinic in Belfast has the longest waiting time in the UK, with no new patients since 2018.

“A report on a consultation on the Gender Recognition Act has been repeatedly delayed, while trans people have been repeatedly subjected to hate and ill-informed speculation by the media and trolls online. This reported mover by the Government feeds into transphobic myths and prejudices perpetuated against an increasingly vulnerable minority group.

“In addition, the Government has recognised the urgent need to address health inequalities for our BAME communities. With BAME trans women facing additional difficulties in accessing healthcare, it is critical they recognise the full consequences of these proposals.

“As a global leader on LGBT+ rights, these steps would see the UK nosedive in equality rankings and participate in a regressive trend against trans rights. I have encouraged the Prime Minister to not to make any decisions which would undermine existing medical consensus and to uphold the existing intentions to protect trans rights.”