GRA reform in Scotland: Poll suggests broad public support for facilitating legal gender reassignment


Within weeks, the Scottish government is expected to introduce legislation to “speed up and simplify” the legal process of gender recognition under the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

The survey of 2,000 adults conducted by Savanta ComRes for BBC Scotland indicated general support for the move with 57% in favor and 20% against.

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Trans people currently have to live two years in their gender before they can apply to register the change. Reform hopes to change that to six months.

A poll by Savanta ComRes has shown there is broad public support for making the legal process easier for a trans person changing gender in Scotland (Picture: Pexels).

However, opinions are still divided on the acceleration of the process as well as on the proposal to remove the need for a medical diagnosis.

The plan to lower the legal age of gender recognition from 18 to 16 saw less than a third of respondents in favor and just over half against.

Vic Valentine of the Scottish Trans Alliance told the BBC: “I’m really pleased to hear that overall there is a majority of people who would support making it easier for trans people to change sex on our birth certificates.

“When we have the opportunity to talk to people about the nature of the reforms and why the changes are needed, we often find that people are quite supportive that things should be made easier for us.”

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What is the Gender Recognition Act and what GRA reform is proposed in Scotland…

The poll indicated a generational divide, with young people and women more supportive of gender reform than older people and men.

Professor Sir John Curtis of the University of Strathclyde said: ‘While the views of people under 35 are any indication of the direction in which we are going, it may be that in ten or twenty years, which is currently the focus of intense debate may become less then.”

The poll showed that many people said they were not following the recent GRA reform debate, with 67% of people saying they were not following closely and 31% saying they were following it.

He also suggested more support for trans people accessing single-sex locker rooms with 61% agreeing and 10% disagreeing.

However, these spaces would still be separately protected under the Equality Act 2010.

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