Thank you for contacting me about the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA).
Reforming the GRA is a sensitive issue. Let me make it clear from the outset that I am in principle supportive of improving transgender rights, but also understand that this is a complex 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 in certain situations 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 Government and in particular the 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 and make these significant decisions however they wish, 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.
I understand that there are concerns about how this may affect transgender rights more widely and I want to assure you that I will pass these onto my colleagues in the Government Equalities Office.
This is a complex area to reform and I want to help to ensure that the Government gets the balance right.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.