Scottish Labour to back gender recognition law despite concerns and MSP split
20.12.2022 - 18:35
Labour will back the Scottish Government’s gender recognition plans in a final vote despite having concerns about the Bill.
It is understood MSPs will be whipped to vote in favour, although a small rebellion is expected. Labour’s support means the Gender Recognition Reform Bill is almost guaranteed to pass after years of bitter debate.
The SNP/Green Government’s Bill aims to simplify the process for a person to obtain a certificate for changing their gender.
Provisions include removing the requirement for a medical diagnosis and replacing it with a system of “self-ID”, as well as reducing the age at which a person can apply for a certificate to 16.
Critics believe the Bill, which will have its final vote on Wednesday, could allow predatory males to access single sex spaces like women’s refuges and rape crisis clinics.
Labour support helped the Bill overcome its first parliamentary hurdle in October, but the party’s MSPs are divided behind the scenes.
Labour's education spokesperson Michael Marra is a critic, while party colleagues Pauline McNeill, Claire Baker, Foysol Choudhury and finance spokesperson Daniel Johnson have also raised questions.
MSPs have tabled a number of amendments to the legislation, but the party today agreed to back the Bill in the final vote.
Labour support is not believed to be necessary for the Bill to pass, but it would make the numbers tighter.
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