Scottish Labour have a long and proud history of supporting, campaigning, and legislating for the rights of all – we campaigned against and repealed section 28, we introduced the 1998 Human Rights Act and the 2010 Equality Act.
Labour are the party of equality – we have always fought against prejudice and sought to build a society in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Trans people’s rights are human rights and they deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as everyone else. Scottish Labour stand against transphobia, as we have stood against all other types of prejudice and bigotry.
We believe that obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate can be lengthy and traumatic and we support reform of the Gender Recognition Act, as set out in the Scottish Labour manifesto.
Scottish Labour also understand that there are people, including some women, who have sincerely held concerns about the impact of the bill and what it could mean for the hard-won rights of women.
It is essential that, as the bill progress, everyone’s rights are protected. That is why we support a reform of the GRA, and the continued implementation of the 2010 Equality Act.
The Scottish Government’s poor handling of the consultation process on the Gender Recognition Bill has led to long delays in its publication. The policy vacuum this has left has contributed to the anxiety some people feel and is partly to blame for the dangerous tone of the public discourse which has surrounded discussions on Gender Recognition Act reform.
Scottish Labour take seriously our role as legislators and our responsibility to ensure that all discussions surrounding this Bill are well-informed and conducted in a considerate manner.
As elected representatives it is important that we listen to the concerns and views of those with an interest in the Bill. We must work to dispel the myths surrounding the legislation and ensure there are good answers to the questions being asked by those who have concerns.
Now the bill has been published we will take time to seriously examine the detail of the proposals. Scottish Labour are committed to properly scrutinising the Government’s proposed legislation as it makes its way through Parliament to ensure it is fit for purpose and protects the rights of all.