LGBTI group the Equality Network, and its trans equality project Scottish Trans, have welcomed today’s BBC opinion poll on reform of the Gender Recognition Act.
In the poll, 57% of people overall supported simplifying the process for obtaining a gender recognition certificate, with only 20% opposed. Women are even more supportive, with 63% in favour, and only 15% opposed. Amongst people under 35, 70% support simplification, with 15% opposed.
People who have been following the debate on this closely are also more supportive, with 72% supporting reform.
The poll shows that having a close friend or family member who is trans makes a person much more supportive of all the proposals in the Scottish Government draft reform bill. Amongst those people, who know a trans person well, clear majorities support simplifying the process (79%), reducing the waiting time from 2 years to 6 months (59%) and reducing the minimum age for obtaining a gender recognition certificate from 18 to 16 (54%).
And a majority (57%) of people who have a trans friend or family member also support the legal recognition of non-binary people, something that the Scottish Government are not currently proposing.
Vic Valentine, Scottish Trans Manager, said, “We welcome that clear majorities of people support simplifying the gender recognition process, which currently can be stressful, lengthy and difficult. As has always been the case for LGBTI equality measures, women and younger people are even more supportive. And those who know trans people well are the most supportive of all.
“Just like previous LGBT debates, for example repealing section 28 in 2000, and equal marriage in 2014, we are sure that as people hear more about the details of the proposals and what they mean, support will increase further. As before, we expect that when the law is changed, public opinion will become even more supportive, as people see that the concerns that have been raised during the debate do not materialise.”