London blocks Scottish transgender law, ‘affecting the situation of women across the UK’

Supporters of the transgender law march outside the Scottish Parliament prior to the debate at the end of December last year.A.P.’s photo

Never since the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 has the UK government failed to accept a law passed there. After all, this would undermine Scottish partial independence. A transgender law passed shortly before Christmas, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ruled on Monday, is problematic because it could have consequences for the rest of the UK, particularly for the status of women.

The progressive majority of Holyrood, the name of parliament in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, agreed with Sturgeon’s government’s proposal to amend passing legislation. After three months of expressing the gender they identify with, Scots could, as the plan had been, officially change their gender. There is no longer a need for medical intervention or monitoring, such as a doctor’s consultation. For minors, the “trial period” is six months.

Liberation of converts

According to the Scottish government, which is made up of nationalists and greens, this change is necessary to liberate transgender people. This legislation has led to protests, for example from the women’s organization Women in Scotland. There is a fear that women will lose their acquired rights. After all, the law allows trans women, even if they remain physically male, access to places that were previously the exclusive domain of women, such as women’s wards in hospitals and prisons, or changing rooms in swimming pools.

One of the most famous opponents was Edinburgh-based writer J.K. Rowling, who wore a T-shirt that said sturgeon kills women’s rights. The Conservative government in London has no plans to follow Scotland’s example, but nevertheless, legal experts have decided that this law will also have an impact on the rest of the United Kingdom. This is because of the current law that states that citizens of all four British countries should have the same human rights.

This is why the Minister for Scottish Affairs, Alastair Jack, will veto it. As expected, the Scottish government reacted indignantly to England’s intervention. The minister responsible, Shona Robison, said: “This is a black day for transgender rights and a dark day for democracy in the UK.” A new front was now opened for the Scottish government in the struggle for independence. A recent YouGov poll found that two-thirds of Scots have objections to the new transgender law.

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