B1509 – Gender Recognition Act 2004 (Repeal) Bill 2019

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Saracen's Fez
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What is this thread about?
This is a bill in the Model House of Commons (MHoC). It's a piece of proposed legislation that is currently being debated, and there's a good chance that the House will later vote on whether to pass it into TSR law. All are welcome and encouraged to ask questions about the bill's content and join in the debate – you don't have to be in a party or be an MP to do so.

What is the MHoC?
It's a political role-playing game where we pretend to be the House of Commons, and it's been going since 2005. We have formed parties, we have elections twice a year, and we debate bills and motions just like the real-life parliament. If you want to know more about how the MHoC works, your first port of call is the user manual. If you'd like to get involved and possibly join a party, you want the welcome thread.


B1509 – Gender Recognition Act 2004 (Repeal) Bill 2019, TSR Conservative & Unionist Party
A
BILL
TO

repeal the Gender Recognition Act 2004

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1(X)Definitions
All definitions are such as defined within the respective Acts.

2(X)Repeal
(X) (1) The Gender Recognition Act 2004 is hereby repealed.

3(X)Citation and Commencement:
(1) This act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.
(2) This act will come into force upon Royal Assent.
(3) This act may be cited as the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2019.

Notes
Whilst we acknowledge that there is greater and greater demands and desires to remove all limits and boundaries in regards to gender, it would not be appropriate to develop inconsistencies in the law. Gender recognition certificates were brought into place to deal with concerns arising from supposed disparities between the individual and their birth certificate. We must remember, however, that birth certificates are, as the name suggests, statements of birth - not of the status quo; and that birth certificates record 'sex' - a biological grounding that cannot be changed at the whim of the individual.

Whilst 'sex' is a legally recognised constant from the point of birth, barring GRCs there is no mechanism for the legal recognition of gender - a highly personal aspect that ought not be brought under legal jurisdiction. This Bill hereby repeals the Gender Recognition Act to create a level legal playing field.
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shadowdweller
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I cannot express how emphatic the nay is from me.

I would support a reform of the bill, as it's currently a very arduous process for trans people, but I certainly would not support a repeal.
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Saoirse:3
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Somebody definitely said the magic word.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
I cannot express how emphatic the nay is from me.

I would support a reform of the bill, as it's currently a very arduous process for trans people, but I certainly would not support a repeal.
Hear Hear!
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Saoirse:3
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Anyway, since I happened to be around I thought I'd give a full response. I don't think you've anticipated the consequences of what you're doing here. For a start, I'll point out that "sex" and "gender" are legally interchangeable in the UK. Therefore, by repealing this, you are deeming all transgender men to be legally women in terms of both sex and gender, and vice-versa. This would mean, for instance, that a transgender man who has a penis, extensive facial hair and prominent muscles, appears entirely male, and has testosterone at male-typical levels would not only legally have access to women's spaces, but would be legally obliged to use them where they are designated as single-sex spaces as permitted by the Equality Act 2010. For instance, if he suferred from a sexual assault or rape, he'd be in the facilities allocated to women - who I expect would find this arrangement perhaps even more uncomfortable than he would.

There is an additional issue here too - since he is indistuinguishable from a cisgender man, the only way you could stop cis male predators from invading these spaces by claiming to be transgender men would be to demand everybody provided ID proving their legal gender, excluding some of the most vulnerable and most in need in support from such spaces. That's one thing when it comes to a rarely-accessed service, but falls down even more when it comes to, for instance, toilets. You can't ID everybody every time - and even if you wanted to discriminate and only ask for ID from those who appear to be trans, you can't afford to have a bouncer on every toilet and changing room entrance in Britain. So again, suddenly any man can just say the magic words "I'm transgender" and gain access to these spaces.

There's certainly a valid argument to be had about balancing women's rights with those of trans people, the difference between gender and sex, how best to operate these spaces etc. But it requires ample degrees of nuance which is sadly lacking here. Your Bill is purely ideological and, though unintended, manages to damage trans lives, endanger women, and destroy traditional gender boundaries all at the same time.
Last edited by Saoirse:3; 8 months ago
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toronto353
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I'll be supporting this Bill. I think that we play around with gender at our peril.
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04MR17
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I'd be interested to hear CatusStarbright's view on whether the legal arguments here are accurate.

If true I'd also be interested to hear views from the house about what a better alternative to the status quo system would be, since this bill provides none.

Also, since the conservatives have once again failed to provide a link to the relevant legislation, here it is:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...0040007_en.pdf
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04MR17
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Taken from the government consultation on this topic:

Trans people are able to receive legal recognition of their acquired gender through a process set out in the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004. Since the GRA came into force, only 4,910 people have legally changed their gender. This is fewer than the number of trans respondents to the government’s LGBT survey, who were clear that they wanted legal recognition but had not applied because they found the current process too bureaucratic, expensive and intrusive. The government therefore seeks your views on how to reform the legal recognition process.

The consultation focuses on the Gender Recognition Act 2004. We are not proposing any amendments to the Equality Act 2010.

This consultation does not consider the question of whether trans people exist, whether they have the right to legally change their gender, or whether it is right for a person of any age to identify with another gender, or with no gender. Trans and non-binary people are members of our society and should be treated with respect. Trans people already have the right to legally change their gender, and there is no suggestion of this right being removed. This consultation simply asks how best government might make the existing process under the Gender Recognition Act a better service for those trans and non-binary people who wish to use it.
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Saoirse:3
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Taken from the government consultation on this topic:

Trans people are able to receive legal recognition of their acquired gender through a process set out in the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004. Since the GRA came into force, only 4,910 people have legally changed their gender. This is fewer than the number of trans respondents to the government’s LGBT survey, who were clear that they wanted legal recognition but had not applied because they found the current process too bureaucratic, expensive and intrusive. The government therefore seeks your views on how to reform the legal recognition process.

The consultation focuses on the Gender Recognition Act 2004. We are not proposing any amendments to the Equality Act 2010.

This consultation does not consider the question of whether trans people exist, whether they have the right to legally change their gender, or whether it is right for a person of any age to identify with another gender, or with no gender. Trans and non-binary people are members of our society and should be treated with respect. Trans people already have the right to legally change their gender, and there is no suggestion of this right being removed. This consultation simply asks how best government might make the existing process under the Gender Recognition Act a better service for those trans and non-binary people who wish to use it.
Yep, the whole situation is a mess. What many people don't realise is that the gender on important documents - say, your driving license and passport - does not have to match your legal sex. At one point in my process I was a male driver, a female British citizen, a male Irish citizen, a female NHS patient and had (still have) a male birth certificate/'legal sex' - and this is perfectly legal and increasingly common. If nothing else it's opening the door to identity fraud. And good luck maintaining any single-sex services, including those which the Equality Act says can legally exclude trans people if needed, when I can show you an ID that says either gender if I wish. The GRC itself is not practically useful for most people and therefore we don't go through with the expensive and bureaucratic process to get one. That being said, most people who have gone through it have done so for a good reason, so this bill damages them with no gain and a boatload of unintended consequences. What would make FAR more sense would be if we agreed on at what stage we should acknowledge somebody as trans (and I am not one who thinks it should be purely by self identity), and then enable ALL their ID to be changed at once - ending this risk of multips IDs with different genders, while also making things less messy for trans folk.
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Good evening to you too, sir
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SoggyCabbages
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(Original post by Saoirse:3)
Good evening to you too, sir
Please don’t assume Jammy’s gender. You should know to ask Jammy first which pronouns to use.
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04MR17
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(Original post by SoggyCabbages)
Please don’t assume Jammy’s gender. You should know to ask Jammy first which pronouns to use.
I though Jammy identified as a biscuit, you as a vegetable and me as a dead South African?
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barnetlad
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Saoirse:3 has provided more detail than I ever could as to why this Bill is the wrong approach. In Barnet there is a women only co-housing project, and I would be very concerned if someone with a penis could claim to be female and cause great harm to the residents. I want there to be a process in law that is supportive to those who have genuinely made a transition (the majority seems male to female), but at the same time is not a perverts charter.

Nay to this Bill.
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LiberOfLondon
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Aye. In relation to this I will be working on a Sex and Gender Bill that will soon be posted in the Liber subforum. I look forward to hearing the opinions of the Party shorty.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by 04MR17)
I'd be interested to hear CatusStarbright's view on whether the legal arguments here are accurate.

If true I'd also be interested to hear views from the house about what a better alternative to the status quo system would be, since this bill provides none.

Also, since the conservatives have once again failed to provide a link to the relevant legislation, here it is:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...0040007_en.pdf
I don’t exactly have any legal argumentation here per se. We have looked at this a little bit as it was relevant to the topic of deception and consent to sex in the criminal law.

What I would say is that with regards to birth certificates and all that, there is the massively prevailing assumption that people’s sex and gender line up, therefore I view such certificates as stating that the person concerned specifically does not have matching sex and gender.

I do not see any issue with having GRCs.
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Mr T 999
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Aye! Great bill by the tories.
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snazzy viking
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Aye
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Joleee
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'there is no mechanism for the legal recognition of gender' - except that there is. the law recognises gender as an actual thing. this is why gender reassignment surgery is legal and why gender is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

what the writers of this bill seems to suggest is that gender, or specifically transgender, should not be recognised since birth. i will not pretend to be an expert on gender or transgender issues. if we want to talk about amending birth certificates to make them more inclusive and not binary i would be fine with that conversation. interesting imo some Canadian provinces already issues non-binary birth certificates (source).
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TheRadishPrince
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The Gender Recognition Act could perhaps do with some reforming due to some developments since it's inception in 2004, but repealing it with no replacement ready to come in after it sets a dangerous precedent for a growing community in the UK (a group we are all meant to also represent as it's MP's) and also I feel will make many situations for women quite uncomfortable.

This Bill sits quite uneasy with me and as a result I'm going to be voting Nay on this.
Last edited by TheRadishPrince; 8 months ago
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LiberOfLondon
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(Original post by Joleee)
'there is no mechanism for the legal recognition of gender' - except that there is. the law recognises gender as an actual thing. this is why gender reassignment surgery is legal and why gender is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

what the writers of this bill seems to suggest is that gender, or specifically transgender, should not be recognised since birth. i will not pretend to be an expert on gender or transgender issues. if we want to talk about amending birth certificates to make them more inclusive and not binary i would be fine with that conversation. interesting imo some Canadian provinces already issues non-binary birth certificates (source).
How exactly do ” non-binary” birth certificates work?
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