The British government on Monday blocked a controversial Scottish law that would have made it easier for people to legally change their sex.
The Gender Recognition Act would have allowed residents to obtain a certificate of gender recognition without requiring a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
Scottish minister Alister Jack, who has blocked the bill from going forward, said he was concerned about the impact on “equality legislation” within the UK.
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“Having thoroughly and carefully considered all relevant advice and policy implications, I am concerned that this legislation will have a negative impact on the functioning of equality legislation throughout Great Britain,” Jack said in a statement.
“Transgender people going through the process of changing their legal gender deserve our respect, support and understanding,” he added. “My decision today concerns the consequences of the legislation on the process of protecting equality at the level of Britain and other matters reserved.”
Local media reported that the move was a unique intervention by the British government.
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Scottish lawmakers passed the bill in December but critics said it would undermine women’s rights. The bill would also have lowered the age at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) from 18 to 16.
Jack said he would consider an amended version of the bill.