We support trans rights law and mixed-sex civil partnerships

March 1, 2018

Humanist Society Scotland has lodged support for the Scottish Government’s proposals on changes to the Gender Recognition Act but demand action on allowing equal access to civil partnerships.

Responding to the consultation, the Humanist Society welcomed the change to a self-declaration model of official gender recognition noting:

“As Humanists we are committed to treating individuals as having inherent worth and dignity and having the right to self-determination of their own lives and bodies. A move to recognising a self-declaration process for gender recognition is in line with Humanist principles regarding autonomy of self.”

However the Society also highlights how a previous failure to amend law to allow access to mixed-sex civil partnerships will create an unfair anomaly:

“We believe that the Scottish Government’s aspiration to recognise trans and non-binary people is incompatible with the current policy regarding not allowing access for mixed-sex couples to civil partnerships. The Scottish Government should revisit this previous decision regarding civil partnerships at the earliest possibility.

“This would remove confusion over this matter and not have a situation whereby only some mixed-sex couples could be in a civil partnership by virtue of a gender recognition certificate.”

The Society has also called for the Government to ensure children and young people’s rights, as set out in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child are respected in the changes. This sees the society support the option to allow applications by a capable child, an approach also supported by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland.

The Humanist Society also supports changes proposed in the consultation to give formal recognition to non-binary people.

The Society’s full response can be downloaded from our website.

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