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Times: snippet on GRA etc

(25 Posts)
teawamutu Sun 12-Jul-20 10:44:34

This bit about making birth certificates easier to change - has anyone heard this before?

OP’s posts: |
FannyCann Sun 12-Jul-20 11:46:57

What? Isn't changing the birth certificate half of what all the problem is and the objections to the GRA? What am I missing?
This is concerning if true.
It all goes back to "just a bit of paperwork".

wellbehavedwomen Sun 12-Jul-20 11:51:44

It's pretty simple as is. Two years to wait, a GP and specialist letter, evidence via bills or passport that you've lived as a woman or man for those two years (women's names will do it). The fee is exponentially less than naturalisation is, for example, and it's not payable at all if on a low income. No long delays or waits, and you don't have to appear in person - it's all done solely by paperwork.

I don't see why it's a massively intrusive process at all. How can you simplify that any further, without making it open to abuse?

Angryresister Sun 12-Jul-20 11:56:50

Nobody should be able to change their birth certificate. Deed poll is equally questionable. Why should these people get to deceive others about the facts of their birth? Big mistake . The whole process should be stopped from now on, but let the people who have the GRC continue, but without the lying over DBS checks and so on.

wellbehavedwomen Sun 12-Jul-20 12:05:40

There's no lying over DBS checks. There is a special process, but DBS checks are enforced on trans people, like anyone else. There's no issue there.

Deed polls have long allowed people to change their names, should they hate them. I know people who've done that.

I don't have an issue with GRCs. I have an issue with the erosion of single sex spaces (which should remain so, not determined by gender ID) and with making GRCs stupidly easy to obtain. I also have an issue with enforced speech around a legal fiction. But dysphoria is real, and if something eases that dysphoria, the concern should be with how to ensure that that easing doesn't in turn impact on other people's needs and rights.

Michelleoftheresistance Sun 12-Jul-20 12:36:26

I have a major problem with anyone being allowed to fictionalise legal documentation.

Add TW, TM, otherkin, reincarnated angel, wtf you want if you have to and it makes you happy, and if legal officers are prepared to pander, but the sex markers and legally required data should be fact and reality based.

Otherwise what is the point with anyone else bothering to fill it out accurately, or spending official time and money bothering to collect and keep the info at all?

highame Sun 12-Jul-20 12:44:56

Here's something to add. I had a different surname on my birth certificate to the one I grew up with. When I applied for a passport, I only needed a written letter showing that I'd always used this name. No issues. However, when I wanted to buy my first property aged 24, I had to then change my name by Deed Poll and what's more I had to sign as my birth name first - which I'd never done before and then my name I used throughout my life. So it is easy. Would it be as easy if you were changing your sex on their, I guess so

Jeeeez Sun 12-Jul-20 13:05:39

What about medical research? They already restrict studies in women because our varying hormone levels can confuse results, meanng half the population is currently treated using the results of studies on mostly men. And then we add biological males into the mix...? It's crazy and potentially dangerous.

TheShoesa Sun 12-Jul-20 13:31:55

wellbehavedwomen

Re DBS checks, there was a thread a while back regarding this. IIRC the DBS check relies on the applicant disclosing their trans status and any former names and that is done on trust. I will see if I can find the thread. I was gobsmacked at the time.

Thelnebriati Sun 12-Jul-20 13:59:39

This is what she means by 'protecting women only services' - it will be easier to get the amended birth certificate you need to say you are a woman and get into them.

R0wantrees Sun 12-Jul-20 14:23:04

There's no lying over DBS checks. There is a special process, but DBS checks are enforced on trans people, like anyone else. There's no issue there.

There is an issue with DBS and a loophole which was identified previously on the board.
Apologies that I can't immediately link to it.

A DBS hides the sex of someone who uses the special rules for those who identify as transgender. This is relevent of course as with any job requiring a DBS there may well be specific sex-based Safeguarding policies and responsibilities.
If an employer is unable to know the sex of an employee how can they ensure that the female service users/ patients/ pupils etc are protected from male members of staff?

MoleSmokes Tue 14-Jul-20 12:38:38

teawamutu - Hi - where is that screenshot from? I have tried searching for the text shown but nothing is turning up.

teawamutu Tue 14-Jul-20 12:57:17

It was a story about Huawei and international trade on the day I posted the thread - can't remember the title.

OP’s posts: |
MoleSmokes Tue 14-Jul-20 13:05:20

Thanks teawamutu smile

I can't find anything anywhere else about it either so maybe they were just guessing?

There are other Mumsnet threads covering roughly the same thing but nothing so specific that I could find.

teawamutu Tue 14-Jul-20 14:22:38

It's interesting, isn't it? Times broke original story and is supposed to be well informed though.

OP’s posts: |
wellbehavedwomen Tue 14-Jul-20 14:54:18

TheShoesa

wellbehavedwomen

Re DBS checks, there was a thread a while back regarding this. IIRC the DBS check relies on the applicant disclosing their trans status and any former names and that is done on trust. I will see if I can find the thread. I was gobsmacked at the time.

Are you serious?! This was literally the first thing I checked, and I was reassured to see that there were special arrangements. Surely if someone is trans then there must be a solid way to make DBS - especially enhanced DBS, which is where rubber really meets road in safeguarding terms - mandatory and effective?

I would really, really welcome the thread if anyone knows where it is.

wellbehavedwomen Tue 14-Jul-20 15:04:49

This is relevent of course as with any job requiring a DBS there may well be specific sex-based Safeguarding policies and responsibilities. If an employer is unable to know the sex of an employee how can they ensure that the female service users/ patients/ pupils etc are protected from male members of staff?

Oh this I also agree with, but that's a problem around ignoring Equality Act exemptions too - we very rarely need to see a birth certificate to know what sex someone is, whatever the law says or doesn't say. Male people should not be providing personal care to female people. I don't care if they identify as flying teapots, and have paperwork to attest to that. There should be a blanket no. But as we all know, Girl Guides are jettisoning that one even without a GRC, so we have a group where everything we know about safeguarding is just ignored for fear of hurting adult male people's feelings.

99% of the time a GRC isn't going to hide what sex someone is, anyway. But if there's no reliable way to check past offending, and people are refusing to retain single sex provision, then effectively there's no safeguarding around one specific group of male people at all. Can't check their past, and ignore the single-sex safeguards, and then send someone off to provide overnight care? What could possibly go wrong. Clearly trans people are no more likely to offend than anyone else of their sex, but they're no less likely, either, so WTF.

Has anyone asked for clarity on this, in terms of whether a loophole exists - was an answer provided? I know it's naive but I can't help hoping there's something on such a birth certificate that would flag this up, in this sort of context.

MoleSmokes Tue 14-Jul-20 15:38:35

These are a couple of previous threads on DBS and the GRA - although there might be others:

GRA and DBS
27 Oct 2018
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3406740-GRA-and-DBS

Reply from Home Office re DBS and GRC
12 Sept 2019
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3690840-Reply-from-Home-Office-re-DBS-and-GRC

PurpleCrowbarWhereIsLangCleg Tue 14-Jul-20 18:51:41

I seem to recall the DBS thing was that you were invited to notify them of previous names, & there was a special 'sensitive application' procedure if you had a GRC/identified as a new gender, but it was up to the individual to decide to do so.

No automatic procedure for joining the dots.

So if someone committed offences as John Doe, then changed their name to Jane Smith, it was not at all clear that a DBS check would show anything but a clean sheet for Smith - if Smith neglected to flag up their previous identity on a voluntary basis?

PurpleCrowbarWhereIsLangCleg Tue 14-Jul-20 18:51:54

I seem to recall the DBS thing was that you were invited to notify them of previous names, & there was a special 'sensitive application' procedure if you had a GRC/identified as a new gender, but it was up to the individual to decide to do so.

No automatic procedure for joining the dots.

So if someone committed offences as John Doe, then changed their name to Jane Smith, it was not at all clear that a DBS check would show anything but a clean sheet for Smith - if Smith neglected to flag up their previous identity on a voluntary basis?

BaronessSnippyPantsofCroneArmy Tue 14-Jul-20 19:19:08

That is my recollection too Purple and nobody managed to get a straight answer as to whether this was correct or not. The powers that be seemed unwilling to confirm or deny.

FannyCann Wed 15-Jul-20 19:19:34

So if someone committed offences as John Doe, then changed their name to Jane Smith, it was not at all clear that a DBS check would show anything but a clean sheet for Smith - if Smith neglected to flag up their previous identity on a voluntary basis?

You have to supply all the addresses you have lived at since forever, so wouldn't this likely show up a mismatch between names on the electoral register (for instance) and the name of the applicant?

Of course what they do next is anyone's guess.

PurpleCrowbarWhereIsLangCleg Wed 15-Jul-20 20:19:38

But the thing is, it looks for positives, not absence of evidence.

For example: one of my colleagues (I teach overseas) has an embarrassing caution on his record, because he did something silly as a pissed student (smashed a shop window). So long as he's still 'John Doe', that continues to follow him.

But if he changed his name, it wouldn't, is my understanding.

Obviously he needs to still be John Doe in order to verify his qualifications etc, but if he'd decided at some point to be Jane Smith, he could still depend on his 'Doe' qualifications whilst not having any of 'Doe''s previous offences taken into account.

Because the DBS authorities leave it to the applicant to identify previous identities.

That's my understanding, anyway.

wellbehavedwomen Wed 15-Jul-20 21:56:33

Yeah, reading through the old threads, it looks like we might potentially have a gap in terms of people changing names, rather than a GRC-specific loophole. It looks, potentially, as though if anyone changes their official name for any purpose, and they have a criminal history of any kind under that previous name, then unless they flag up that past name when the DBS is completed nobody need know.The Home Office answer is clear as mud, so I do still have some hope that there's more efficiency and clarity than that. But that may be misplaced optimism.

There should be checks made when someone wants to change name, to see if they have a relevant record. If there's no dicey past, then no link is necessary and they should be allowed to move on. If there is, then the old history should automatically be transferred across to the new name, or at the very least the connection flagged up against the new one. Surely that would be a fair balance between anonymity and public safety. I'm certainly uneasy, if that isn't so. I don't care what the reasons for name changing are in this context.

I hope that the system is more robust than we fear.

OldCrone Thu 16-Jul-20 13:32:27

Report out now.

commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8969/

Thread here:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3969486-House-of-Commons-Library-Gender-recognition-and-the-rights-of-transgender-people-16-07-2020

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