Letter published in the National 16/11/2022:
I can’t help but feel that correspondent Beth Douglas has somewhat got the priorities wrong in saying that without a gender recognition certificate (GRC) a trans person will be ‘buried or cremated under the wrong gender’. Really? I think for most of us if that was all that was wrong with this legislation, we would take it. Personally, I am much more concerned with where I go after death than the ‘SEX’ I am buried under.
Beth asks when anyone is asked for a gender recognition certificate before accessing single sex spaces. I think that is the point. No-one is asked, and the Scottish government has created an atmosphere where those who challenge biological males in those spaces are called transphobes or told they are imagining things. But single sex spaces are based on sex not gender.
The gender recognition certificate actually offers no automatic right of entry to single sex spaces. Biological males can be excluded if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. And no matter what a GRC says, it does not alter the fact that you remain biologically male or female until the day you die, which is why single sex exemptions exist at all, for safety where men’s greater physical strength is an issue, for fairness where strength in sport is an issue, for equality in representation where inequality is an issue, and for those vulnerable and abused by men to be freed from the presence of men. But in Scotland today, men who claim to be women have more right to be women than women do.
Until the Forstater case women were shouted down and silenced, threatened with losing their jobs and livelihoods, and our own Scottish government appeared indifferent at best. The trans lobby says Scottish public opinion is on their side. It is not, as the 150 amendments to this legislation show. Finally, our representatives are listening to women’s concerns. It is regrettable that at the moment only eight days are being allowed to consider them.
Trans people must be protected by the law, but their rights must never be at the expense of women,