Votes in both countries indicate that religious opposition to LGBT+ equality is increasingly falling on deaf ears.
Cheers resounded today (Thursday) in the Scottish Parliament when the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill was passed by 86 to 39 votes. There were no abstentions.
Ahead of the vote, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, according to Catholic news outlet, Crux, said the change in law is to make gender transitioning “less degrading, intrusive and traumatic.”
Crux reported on the strong opposition to the bill voiced by Scotland’s Catholic Church. It said that the Catholic Parliamentary Office of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference declared in a statement that:
The Bill, which overrides biological reality, raises serious concerns about the safety, health and wellbeing of children and vulnerable people, and safe spaces for women and girls … The Church is pastorally sensitive to the experience of those who, even at certain moments in life, desire to have a body and identity other than their biological gender and may begin to behave in ways culturally associated with this orientation. They are to be met with compassion and a particular care and support in the challenges and distress that come with gender dysphoria.
One has to wonder whether God was otherwise engaged when the UK hate group Christian Concern, founded by the ghastly Andrea Minichiello Williams, above, prayed:
- That these changes would somehow not go through; that votes would be delayed or that there would be a radical drop in support for the bill
- For MSPs as they debate and discuss the reforms this afternoon; pray that the truth would be spoken in the Scottish Parliament
- For MSPs who support the bill to listen carefully and understand the concerns being raised
- For all MSPs and other politicians who have spoken bravely against these damaging changes – that they would continue to have courage and influence
- That political support for gender reform in Scotland would diminish
- That more politicians in Scotland would truly understand and recognise the dangers of transgender ideology, particularly for those under 18
- That teenagers and young people would be protected from transgender ideologies and processes that take them down irreversible and dangerous paths
- That the truth about transgender policies, as well as trans campaign groups like Mermaids, would continue to be exposed.
The new legislation would remove the current requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and reduce the requirement to have “lived in” the “acquired” gender for two years to three months. It also seeks to reduce the age at which someone can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate from 18 to 16 years.
Spain passes a transgender rights bill
On the same day, Spain passed a transgender rights bill allowing anyone 16 and over to change gender on their ID card, putting Spain on track to becoming one of the few countries to allow transgender people to change their status with a simple declaration.
Approved by 188 votes in favour to 150 against and seven abstentions, the bill now moves to the Senate where, if left unchanged as expected, it will become law within weeks.
The draft bill effectively simplifies the procedure for changing gender on a person’s national identity card, allowing them to request the change based on a simple statement.
When Spain began the process last year of passing a so-called “Trans Law” Luis Argüello, the spokesman for the Spanish Bishops’ Conference and auxiliary bishop of Valladolid, above, condemned the law, saying:
Transforms feelings into a legal category and enthrones the will to do whatever one wants without any limits.
The Spanish bill’s draft text provided for self-determination of gender so a person can change one’s name and sex on the DNI (national ID card) just by presenting a declaration, without the need for providing medical reports or proof of having started hormone treatments—which the old current law required.
The legal change of sex can be requested beginning at the age of 12, with judicial authorisation. For those 14 to 16 years old, it can be requested with the consent of parents or legal representatives; after 16 years of age, the person can go to the civil registry office alone and request the change, without the need for anyone to certify the change.
The new law also prohibits conversion therapy, punishable by fines of up to 150,000 euros.
Argentina led the way
In 2012, Argentina became the first country in the world to allow people to officially change their name and gender without requiring permission from a judge or doctor; without undergoing sex reassignment surgery, hormone therapy or psychological evaluation.
Many more ground-breaking policies have followed, including last year’s decree that one per cent of public sector jobs would be reserved for trans people (an umbrella term for people whose gender does not reflect the sex they were assigned at birth).
The law was developed after a 2017 survey found that only nine per cent of trans people were formally employed, while 70 per cent were sex workers. Many do not have access to healthcare. The Argentine struggle for trans rights is far from exhausted, yet it remains a beacon of hope as other countries—including the UK—take regressive steps.
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