Pam Gosal votes against ‘flawed and shoddy’ gender recognition reforms in Scotland
West Scotland MSP Pam Gosal voted against the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, in the Bill’s third and final stage in the Scottish Parliament last week.
This debate followed two days of the Scottish Parliament sitting past midnight, as the Scottish Government insisted on passing this Bill before Christmas recess.
Gosal, who is the first Indian Sikh Member of the Scottish Parliament, cited multiple concerns about the proposed legislation.
The Bill has received widespread criticism from both religious groups, including the Muslim Council of Scotland, the Scottish Association of Mosques, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women & Girls, Reem Alsalem.
The Gender Recognition (Reform) (Scotland) Bill will allow people to ‘self-declare’ their gender, lower the minimum age from 18 to 16, removing the requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and reduce the transition period from two years to three months.
The Bill was passed with the support of the Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Greens and the Liberal Democrats, a statement by Gosal revealed.
Gosal said,“The SNP have railroaded this Bill through Parliament, insisting on debating over 150 amendments in just two sitting days. That is no way to legislate.
“This process has not only brought shame on this Parliament, but is an affront to democracy.
“I disagree with the key principles of this Bill, such as the age reduction, the removal of a gender dysphoria diagnosis, and the removal of the gender recognition panel. But I oppose this Bill with the best intentions.
“Good legislation is about balance. No legislation should curb the rights of one group, to the convenience of another. But this Bill does exactly that.
“It is disappointing that the SNP, Labour, and the Lib Dems all whipped their MSPs to vote for this Bill.
“As a Scottish Conservative MSP, I had a free vote yesterday. Due to the many unaddressed concerns about the safety of women and girls, and the protection of religious rights, I could not support this flawed and shoddy legislation”.