A step forward for trans rights in Scotland as a judge has decided that any transgender person can choose male or female on the Scottish census without a gender recognition certificate.
A huge step forward
Lord Sandison, a civil court judge sitting in Edinburgh, has decided to rule against Fair Play for Women, a feminist group that legally challenged the case of transgender people. It has been agreed that National Records for Scotland will release a census with the question ‘what is your sex’ and offer two options ‘male’ or ‘female’.
The government agency will send this census out to roughly 2.5 million households. On the form, it will also be written ‘If you are transgender, the answer you give can be different from what is on your birth certificate. You do not need a gender recognition certificate.’
Sandison ruled that there were no legal requirements to provide legal proof of sex for the census. The judge ruled this 14 days after the feminist group challenged the decision. The census will be published on March 20.
Sandison said that government agencies all have a different perception of sex and gender. He wrote:
In the modern age, where social change has meant that such issues are much more openly and widely discussed and debated, I would find it impossible to find that the word ‘sex’ in a statute enabling the general population to be asked questions for the wide and general purposes for which a census is conducted falls to be regarded as restricted in the sense for which the petitioner contends
Fair Play for Women
Fair Play for Women is a feminist group that argued that people answering the census were lawfully allowed to answer ‘what sex are you?’ based on their legally recognised sex only. Meaning the sex written on their birth certificate or gender recognition certificate.
The feminist group said they were disappointed with the judge's decision and are urging an appeal. They said:
The guidance proposed for the sex question will jeopardise the collection of accurate data on sex in the Scottish census and erodes the harmonisation of data collected via censuses across the UK,