Saturday, June 22, 2024

UK: Labour Party seeks to make gender change ‘less medicalised’ and bureaucratic

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United Kingdom’s Labour Party, as per reports, will soon make changing gender easier by allowing a single family doctor to sign off on the decision, simplifying the current process. 

This, as per a report in The Independent, would involve scrapping the existing panel of doctors and lawyers that approve gender recognition certificates. The party, as per the report, is trying to eliminate what it views as “futile and dehumanising parts” of the procedure.

‘Less medicalised’

The party wants to make the gender change process “less medicalised,” while still maintaining the involvement of a doctor.

Talking to The Times, Anneliese Dodds, the shadow women and equalities secretary, explained that the goal is to modernise the process.

“We want to see the process for gender recognition modernised while protecting single-sex spaces for biological women,” she told the publication.

She added, “This means stripping out the futile and dehumanising parts of the process for obtaining a gender recognition certificate while retaining important safeguards.”

While the proposal would retain the involvement of a medical professional, whether this would be a GP or a gender specialist is still undecided and likely to be determined through consultation if Labour wins the next election.

However, not everyone is in favour of this relaxation. Speaking to The Times, Women and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, a Conservative Party leader said: “There is no reason whatsoever to relax the safeguards that are in place. Labour should stop trying to weaponise this issue and allow professionals to do their job properly.”

Gender certificate rules in the UK currently

Currently, obtaining a gender recognition certificate requires a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, living in the affirmed gender for two years, and the intention to live in that gender for life. 

Additionally, two medical reports are required, including one from a specialist, and the application is reviewed by a panel. 

Only two per cent of transgender people in the UK have such a certificate, which allows them to update their birth certificate, marry or enter a civil partnership in their affirmed gender, and have it recognised on their death certificate.

(With inputs from agencies)

Moohita Kaur Garg

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” — Albus Dumbledore (J. K


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