Trans people, and their friends, families and supporters, will demonstrate outside the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 12th June in support of trans rights. The event is organised by the Scottish Trans Alliance and partners, and will be from 12.15pm to 1pm. There will be speeches by trans people, and by MSPs from different parties.
James Morton, manager of the Scottish Trans Alliance, said, “We are holding this event to remind MSPs that improving trans equality is a vital, positive part of making Scotland a more welcoming and inclusive place for everyone. It will show how much support there is for trans people’s lives being recognised and respected, and will call for action on reforming the Gender Recognition Act, as promised in the parties’ 2016 Holyrood manifestos.”
The event coincides with the final stage 3 debate (from around 3.15 to 5pm) on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill. The bill will for the first time allow voluntary questions on trans status and history, and on sexual orientation, to be asked in the 2021 Scottish Census.
Vic Valentine of the Scottish Trans Alliance said, “We welcome the Census Bill, and we hope that MSPs pass it unanimously today. For the first time, we will be able to get good data on the number and situation of trans and LGB people in Scotland, via the new voluntary questions. It is very important though that the wording of the questions is sensitive and appropriate. The questions currently proposed by National Records of Scotland are good, and we look forward to contributing to further discussion of those.”
Sophie Bridger of Stonewall Scotland said: “Trans people are facing horrific levels of harassment and intimidation in their daily lives. Our 2018 Trans Report revealed that two in five trans people (41 per cent) have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year. These are not just statistics, they represent the lives of trans people, which are only being made worse by increasingly frequent attacks in the media, online and in public spaces.”
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows trans people to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate.However, the procedure is intrusive and humiliating, and is not available to people under 18 or to non-binary people. In their 2016 Holyrood manifestos, the SNP, Labour, the Greens and LibDems all committed to reforming the Gender Recognition Act, and the Tories committed to review it. The Scottish Government consulted publicly on proposals for reform, from November 2017 to March 2018, but have not yet announced their detailed plans.
Organisations attending the event will include the Scottish Trans Alliance and Equality Network, Stonewall Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland and a number of other groups.