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Conservatives update on GRA

(23 Posts)
spontaneousgiventime Fri 20-Apr-18 14:07:43

Still no real idea where this is going to go but they are consulting with women and faith groups.

In July 2017, we announced our intention to consult on reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004. We are currently considering the content of the consultation, and we will be publishing the consultation in due course. The consultation will run for at least 12 weeks.

We have been using the time since announcing our intention to consult, to analyse the responses from transgender people who responded to our National LGBT survey. In this survey, we asked about the views and experiences of transgender people who have applied for a Gender Recognition Certificate under the GRA. We will publish the results of this survey shortly.

Ahead of the consultation launch, we have also begun engaging with a wide range of people and organisations. These organisations include transgender, LGBT, women’s rights and faith groups.

The Government recognises that there are a wide range of views on how we might reform the Act. It has been valuable to hear these different voices prior to the consultation and we will continue to engage with stakeholders before, during, and after the consultation.

We are also working across Whitehall to ensure we fully understand what impact there could be from any reform to the Gender Recognition Act.

www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2018-03-29/HL6792/

2rebecca Fri 20-Apr-18 15:28:23

What about asking the people in general. Most people aren't part of a specific group

Melamin Fri 20-Apr-18 15:42:13

They do need to ask everyone. They need to ask organisations that will actually be carrying out this change in the law. (DVLA? organisations/departments collecting information?) They need to be looking for unintended consequences, so it is not just the obvious people.

Also, some 'women's rights' have a strong trans presence, so they will be asking the same people over and over.

R0wantrees Fri 20-Apr-18 15:52:17

There needs to be awareness of how, in the last few months, fear within the LGBT community has been fueled. It is much more complex than might appear. I really don't doubt that a great deal of harm has been caused (both inadvertently & deliberately) by some activists who would claim to be seeking rights for people who are transgender.

spontaneousgiventime Fri 20-Apr-18 15:56:29

Groups like Womans place and Mayday for women should be a no brainer for this discussion. I would be happy for them to speak on my behalf. I suppose it will all boil down to which groups they approach to consult with.

Jayceedove Fri 20-Apr-18 16:05:17

As a transsexual I was never consulted in this survey, as I imagine were others who were not openly part of any activist groups that they used to collect data.

I do not know what they did but they could have at least contacted everyone with a GRC or altered birth certificate already. There are only five or six thousand.

Those who have been through the existing process might have had useful comments about the plan to more or less scrap the checks and balances altogether.

If they only collect comments from those who have not chosen to access the existing path to legal recognition then the survey seems likely to be a little one sided towards need for change.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 20-Apr-18 16:25:08

Yes, they should have consulted people who have had their certificate for some period of time.
I hope that now they do also gather women’s opinions and not just the pro transactivist supposedly feminist groups.

poshme Fri 20-Apr-18 16:27:05

Well there's 2 members of the House of Lords who need to start getting letters from women outlining concerns.
One be issue she may be pro TRA (baroness barker-lib dem)
And one because she was chosen to be gov spokesperson in lords to answer the question. (Baroness Williams)

spontaneousgiventime Fri 20-Apr-18 16:30:01

Biological women and Transwomen who have held a GRC for some time would be sensible I think. Most of these people are likely to be reasonable (like WP 5 demands) and not hysterical like the TRA.

R0wantrees Fri 20-Apr-18 16:30:06

Shirley Williams?

R0wantrees Fri 20-Apr-18 16:31:04

Susan Willams?

LangCleg Fri 20-Apr-18 16:37:07

That's in response to a written question from Liz Barker. A Lib Dem peer strongly in favour of self-ID. This written question was designed to put pressure on the government to get on with legislating for self-ID, not to ask them if they'd remembered to ask women yet.

Luke warm response from government if you're hoping they're having second thoughts, I think.

PencilsInSpace Fri 20-Apr-18 16:53:32

Jaycee - As a transsexual I was never consulted in this survey, as I imagine were others who were not openly part of any activist groups that they used to collect data.

It was this survey, open to anyone who fit the criteria. It was launched when they made the announcement of the proposed changes to the GRA.

I do not know what they did but they could have at least contacted everyone with a GRC or altered birth certificate already. There are only five or six thousand.

I agree this would be useful but I'm not sure they can legally do this given the clause in the GRA that makes it illegal to disclose if someone has a GRC.

The actual consultation hasn't happened yet. Maybe GRC holders should get organised ahead of the consultation and make their voices heard as a group.

misscockerspaniel Fri 20-Apr-18 16:59:12

This is what we are waiting for. I hope it is a genuine consultation and not like the biased, Scottish one. We have to nail this.

PencilsInSpace Fri 20-Apr-18 17:00:56

This will almost definitely be an open consultation so any group or individual can submit evidence. The important thing is whose evidence the government then decides is worth considering and exploring further, and whose evidence is dismissed out of hand.

Angryresister Fri 20-Apr-18 17:06:20

Does anyone know what happened after the Scottish consultation? Many of us did submit our views in various forms I think.

PencilsInSpace Fri 20-Apr-18 17:13:47

They're still analysing the responses Angry.

R0wantrees Fri 20-Apr-18 17:27:12

*Well there's 2 members of the House of Lords who need to start getting letters from women outlining concerns.
One be issue she may be pro TRA (baroness barker-lib dem)*

LizBarkerLords has retweeted the LibDen LGBT tweet including EH blog (now deleted) with comment,
"Anyone trying to understand the campaign against review of the Gender Recognition Act should read this along"
twitter.com/LizBarkerLords/status/986646386010619904

Jayceedove Fri 20-Apr-18 17:27:14

Thanks pencils, I will certainly fill it in.

Creating a legalising document via the GRA and making it illegal to access for legitimate purposes sounds like something out of Lewis Carrol.

And poses the question what value has a GRC if it has to be considered top secret outside of the holder?

Of course, it should not be an ID badge but needs to be accessible for legitimate purposes.

Much as the altered birth certificate is a copy for day to day use but the original is retained on record. It is not openly available but it is available to all requiring it for legitimate purposes.

Jayceedove Fri 20-Apr-18 17:30:21

Well, I tried to fill in the survey, but you get a message telling you it has closed!

PencilsInSpace Fri 20-Apr-18 17:42:47

Yes sorry if I wasn't clear, the survey closed a while ago. It didn't ask directly about self-ID as far as I remember, it was more to do with discrimination encountered by LGBT people.

I always thought the whole point of a GRC was to get a new birth certificate.

OvaHere Fri 20-Apr-18 17:55:27

www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/commons/media-relations-group/news/house-of-commons-proud-to-join-trans-ally-scheme/

This was announced a couple of days ago. Looks similar to all the school and workplace training Stonewall have undertaken. Seems like it's aimed at staff rather than specifically MPs although I imagine they are included. It's opt in rather than compulsory.

Jayceedove Fri 20-Apr-18 18:08:59

I don't think the GRC was created just to provide a new birth certificate. In fact if you read the parliamentary discussion that was an added extra that came in near the end that actually went beyond expectations.

Legal recognition came about because of laws elsewhere forcing the UK to respond. There was limited precedent for birth certificate changes and it led to some dissent when added. But was mostly waived through in the end on the basis that numbers would be at most around 5000 or so and the alteration would have to be signed off by medical approval to do so.

And for a while after the law came out very few (under 1000) applied for a birth certificate. Even today fewer have one than have a GRC. And that as you probably know is small numbers within the range predicted in the parliamentary debate 14 years ago.

There seems little point in creating a process to issue a GRC and then add a new layer to apply for an altered birth certificate, which at the start involved extra evidence from doctors to attain.

You might as well otherwise have just made the birth certificate the end product of the panel assessment.

Though I suspect part of the problem was that a GRC could be supplied to anyone who applied with living status in the UK but a birth certificate could only be changed (and still can) if the law of any birth country allowed it.

Back at the start hardly anywhere other than the UK did allow this, so that likely limited early take up of new birth certificates until more and more countries added that option into their law.

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