Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA).

Thank you for contacting me about the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA).

I know that colleagues in the Government Equalities Office have been doing a lot of work on this recently to form their response to the consultation. Understandably, the Coronavirus outbreak has complicated things somewhat, but I have received reassurances from the department that they plan to publish their response in the summer.

I am absolutely committed to protecting women’s rights and freedoms. I completely understand that reforming the GRA is a complex and sensitive issue, which is why it is important for everyone’s views to be heard and listened to. I am especially glad that the Minister for Women and Equalities has recently said that any reforms will ensure the protection of single-sex spaces, which I recognise is extremely important.

I know that many people also have concerns about the impact of this legislation on children. I have raised this with colleagues in the Government and Equalities Office who have assured me of their commitment to ensuring under 18s are protected from making decisions that are irreversible in the future. I believe strongly that adults should have the freedom to live their life, but I do think it is very important we protect young adults, who are still developing their decision making processes and capabilities, from taking action which they potentially cannot reverse.