UK Blocks Scottish Gender Recognition Bill

    Photo: AP [via The New York Times]

    The Facts

    • On Monday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government blocked the Gender Recognition Reform Bill passed by the Scottish parliament last month — the first time the UK has invoked the power to veto a Scottish law.

    • The UK government invoked Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 to stop the Scottish bill from becoming law, saying the bill "would have an adverse impact on the operation of Great Britain-wide equalities legislation."

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This veto is an attack on Scottish democracy and indicates contempt for progress. After years of public prejudice against transgender people, things began to move forward in Scotland. However, Rishi Sunak's decision could erase all of those gains and will negatively impact an already marginalized and vulnerable community. This is a dark day for trans rights and a dark day for democracy in the UK.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The so-called reforms in this bill seriously threaten women's rights and children's safety in Scotland as well as in the UK. By stripping all requirements to change one's gender, the Scottish legislature was making women vulnerable in female-only spaces. The veto has been painted as an unprecedented constitutional crisis, but the truth is that different gender recognition policies in the UK cannot coexist.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 21% chance that Scotland will leave the United Kingdom before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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