NUS Scotland President, Ellie Gomersall, at the Scottish Parliament. Credit: Ellie Gomersall via Instagram

NUS Scotland welcomes Gender Recognition Reform Bill

By Odhran Gallagher

The National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland has praised the passage of the bill as a “historic step forward for trans liberation”.

Liam Furby, Campaigns and Influencing Manager of the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland has released a statement outlining the Union’s support for the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill. 

The bill, which is currently awaiting royal assent, was passed on 22 December with a majority of 86 to 39. It was designed to amend the Gender Recognition Act of 2004 in order to make it easier for people to change their legal gender. 

However, it received vocal opposition from some women’s groups who felt that the bill infringed in women’s sex-based rights. With regard to this the NUS statement read: “Despite all the misinformation and transphobic rhetoric thrown at it, this Bill has been passed by an overwhelming majority of the Scottish Parliament and supported by MSPs from every single party.”

It went on to say: “The fight is not, however, over. Non-binary people in Scotland are still not recognised in law, and more needs to be done to allow trans young people who are under 16 to change their legal gender. We need action on woefully inadequate trans healthcare too: it is difficult to access, with long-waits and an invasive and intrusive process that relies on irrelevant gender stereotypes.”

Speaking to Channel 4 News, the current President of NUS Scotland, Ellie Gomersall, who sits on the board of the campaign group Equality Network and is trans herself, said that the bill had “been blown completely out of proportion” and that ultimately it was about being able to “update birth certificates”.

A poll commissioned by the BBC and conducted by Sevanta ComRes found that only 14% of 16-25 year olds in Scotland opposed the bill, whereas 69% support it.


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