UK Gov’t Considers Reforms That Would Let People Pick Their Legal Gender

Jacob Bojesson | Foreign Correspondent

Britain’s conservative government will promote legislation this fall that would let adults change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis, The Times reported Sunday.

People would be allowed to have their birth certificates altered to reflect the gender they identify with. Existing laws require a two-year wait period and a doctor’s examination before the legal sex change can be approved. A consultation on the Gender Recognition Bill could be announced as early as this fall.

“We will build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them,” said Justine Greening, the British minister for women and equalities, according to BBC.

Critics have warned that the changes could have severe impacts on people’s privacy.

“This has huge implications for women. There will be legal cases,” Stephanie Davis-Arai of parents’ group Transgender Trend told The Times. “The most worrying thing is if any man can identify as a woman with no tests and gain access to spaces where women might be getting undressed or feel vulnerable — like women’s hospital wards, refuges and rape crisis centers — women will just stop going there.”

The proposal to change the legislation comes just days after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the current law “wrong” since it “forces them to undergo invasive medical tests.”

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