At the end of December, the Scottish regional parliament voted in favor of a new gender law, Stern reported. This should make it easier to change the official gender entry for trans people. Shortly thereafter, the British government announced that it might want to block the law. Now she’s serious. The British Minister for Scotland, Alistair Jack, announced on Monday evening that the government in London had decided to go down the blockade route. The law is in conflict with the existing legal situation in Great Britain. It is the first time that the UK government has blocked a law passed in Scotland for this reason.

The law should allow people to apply for a change in their registered gender at the age of 16 instead of the previous age of 18. A medical report should no longer be necessary for this change. In addition, the length of time that trans people must have lived with their gender identity before they can apply for a change is to be reduced from two years to three months, and for under-18s to six months.

Opponents of the draft, including author J.K. Rowling, criticize, among other things, that the law endangers women, since male perpetrators could use it to gain access to women’s toilets or changing rooms, for example, under false pretenses. Proponents say the proposed law only strengthens the rights of trans people and does not conflict with women’s rights. A UN expert had warned of negative stereotypes about trans people ahead of the vote in the Scottish Parliament.

In principle, the British government has the power to take action against laws passed in Scotland if it feels that they overly affect the law in force in the United Kingdom. She is now using this opportunity for the first time. In a letter to Scotland’s Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Alistair Jack justified the decision by saying that he believed the Scottish bill would conflict with British equality legislation, for example the right to separate clubs or schools by gender or equal pay rules of men and women.

Sturgeon warned trans people are being used as a political weapon by the UK government. She described the British government’s announcement as a frontal attack on the Scottish Parliament and announced that she would fight back. There is no basis for the government in London to take action against the bill. The Scottish government could also challenge the initiative in court and take it to the Supreme Court. According to reports from the “BBC”, however, she initially wanted to wait for details on how the British side would proceed.

Sources: Stern, BBC, DPA, Reuters