The Scottish Govts newly passed gender bill, the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scot) Bill, has redefined the language used in the GRA. A person is no longer reassigned a gender. This legislation now defines it as ‘becoming female’.

The GRA doesn’t actually believe that a man can become female. It’s purpose was to give a transsexual person legal recognition

The Equality Act 2010 clearly uses the word ‘reassign’. To reallocate, to rename, to reappoint, to give, to transfer.

Nothing to do with ‘becoming’. To evolve into, to metamorphose, to turn into, to transform, change into

A male cannot ever become a female.

Words matter.

The language has changed from

…. undergoing a process for the purpose of ‘reassigning the persons sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex’ ….. to

to quite simply

….. undergoing a process for the purpose of ‘becoming female’ ……..

To process of gender reassignment was first defined as

The Equality Act then removed any need for medical supervision. Examples are included

Now, there is no need for any changes, either physiological, (whatever that means) or otherwise. To simple ‘become’ is enough.

Become female, not just assume the gender role of a woman, but actually become the biological sex ‘female’

It’s not even vague like referring to the ‘female gender’

Equality Act 2010 sect 212(1) interpretation

”Woman’ means a female of any age’

”Man’ means a male of any age’

Spot the difference to the consultation responses

A few amendments were suggested, ‘becoming female’ was by Mary Fee MSP but a ‘tie breaker’ clause was raised. Which confirmed that another ‘protected characteristic’ could trump ‘sex’.

Monica Lennon MSP says on improving women’s representation- it means nothing if it’s to help white middle class women when we could give it to a person who isn’t a woman instead.??

When the bill was first introduced there was no definition of ‘women’

Scottish Trans made a suggestion. Mary Fee was pushing very strongly for it to include non-binary

Engender and Women 50 50 supported the proposal from Scottish Trans Alliance / Equality Network

Angela Constance Cabinet Secretary responds with amendments to include a definition of ‘woman’

The committee then vote and agree the amendment. All 6 of them. No further public consultation or evidence is needed. It’s then returned to the parliament with the committees full support, and then passed. And that’s how a law is made.

This thread was originally posted on Twitter @Scottish_Women on 20/3/18. Link here.

Addition to original thread

The following are extracts from the Equality Network and Scottish Trans Alliance written submission to the Committee.

“We are concerned that there may be uncertainty about who is included in the term “women”.

It is crucial that the bill is written and implemented in a way that is clearly inclusive of all women, including transgender women who do not have gender recognition certificates.

However, we would argue very strongly that this terminology does need to be expanded. To ensure that all transgender women are included by the bill, our suggestion is that “woman” should be clarified within the bill (by amending section 2) as follows:

“woman” –
(a) includes a person with the protected characteristic of gender reassignment who is living in the female gender

It is vital that the bill is both written and implemented in a way which is inclusive and respectful of transgender people’s identities. It must not provide additional barriers to transgender people’s representation on public boards, or undermine their gender by appointing them on the basis of their formal legal sex when that is not the gender they identify and live as.

It is essential that this positive impact is felt by all women, and that there is not uncertainty about the inclusion of transgender women without gender recognition certificates in the gender representation objective. “

The public consultation on this Bill didn’t include anything about changing the definition of ‘Woman’, yet this strongly worded submission from a Trans group to the Committee of 6 people was enough to have it redefined.

We now have legislation confirming “Transwomen ARE women”.

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