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HomeWorldWhy is Scotland’s gender reform bill so contentious? | Podcast

Why is Scotland’s gender reform bill so contentious? | Podcast


It has been six years in the making. The political debates over it went late into the night. But, finally the most consulted upon piece of legislation in Holyrood’s history – the gender recognition reform (Scotland) bill – was passed. Then, almost straight away, the Westminster government said it was considering vetoing it.

Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, said the bill would affect UK-wide equality law. So, he announced, he would block it using never-before-used legislation. Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, reacted furiously, calling this course of action a “full-frontal assault” on devolution.

Critics say the bill will make it easier for abusive men to enter women-only spaces. Others say Westminster’s controversial tactics give ammunition to those arguing for Scotland’s independence. How did it come to this and what does it mean for the transgender people caught in the middle of the political storm?



Activists protest outside Downing Street against Rishi Sunak's blocking of the Scottish gender recognition reform bill.

Photograph: Tayfun Salcı/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

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