And the ban on gay ‘conversion therapy’ is said to be in order to “placate” the LGBTQ+ community.
The Sunday Times has reported that the government is planning to scrap previously proposed self-identification laws for trans and non-binary people, despite its own consultation on the matter finding overwhelming public support for allowing self-ID.
The government’s consultation on whether to change the laws around self-identification for trans and non-binary people was launched by former Prime Minister Theresa May. The consultation received over 100,000 responses, with 70% of those in favour of allowing self-identification.
However, officials believe that the results may have been skewed from a host of responses from pro-trans organisations.
The paper says that the government’s planned legislation on this is “basically ready” and could be voted on by MPs in July, before they leave for their summer break.
Under the leaked plans, proposals for self-identification will be scrapped, meaning the current lengthy process for a gender recognition certificate will remain; there will be a “crackdown” on so-called “quack” doctors; safeguards will be put in place for “safe spaces” for women; a North Carolina-style bathroom bill will be brought in; and there will be a ban on gay ‘conversion therapy.’
The piece says that the government faces a fight over the new proposals, with Labour strongly against them, as well as several backbench Conservative MPs, such as the former chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Maria Miller.
A spokesman for 10 Downing Street did not dispute The Sunday Times’s report, saying: “The report is not yet finalised and the prime minister will have the final say on the recommendations.”
In a statement, Nancy Kelley, the Chief Executive at Stonewall, said: “The report in today’s newspapers, that the Government looks set to drop plans to make it more straightforward for trans people to get legal recognition of their gender, is extremely disappointing if accurate.
“These reforms would have made many trans people’s lives much easier, as we know from the changes already made in Ireland five years ago. The majority of the public responses to the consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act supported these changes. This is another blow to our community during a difficult time.
Nancy added: “Trans people face a huge amount of abuse in their daily lives, just for being themselves. Across issues like access to healthcare, fair treatment in the justice system and the ability to have their voices and stories heard in public life, trans people experience profound inequalities.
“We will carry on, working with trans led and trans-inclusive organisations, to fight for trans people to be able to live their lives with dignity and respect, and for acceptance without exception for us all.”
The news has prompted a fierce backlash on social media, with the LGBT Foundation tweeting: “This is deeply disappointing. The current process for changing the legal gender on a person’s birth certificate is expensive, intrusive and dehumanising. It needs urgent reform, not to be made even harder.”
And SNP politician Mhairi Black added: “Trans people already access public toilets and changing rooms under self ID. In fact, they HAVE to do that for at least two years to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate. GRA reform is an administrative change and anyone who tells you otherwise is being dishonest.”
The LGBT+ Conservatives, a network for members of the Conservative Party who identify as LGBTQ+, also spoke out against the plans, tweeting: “We couldn’t be clearer. We support trans rights, reform of the GRA, & know Women’s rights & Trans rights are not an ‘either, or’. We are diminished as a society if we fail to right the injustices & discrimination all people face, whatever their gender.”
One member of the party likened the move to Section 28, a piece of legislation that banned the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ from local authorities, and said it would have to be “apologised for and unpicked in years.”
And the What The Trans?! podcast added that the leaked report, could show “the biggest rollback of civil rights the UK has seen in decades.”