Boris Johnson 'to scrap plans to make gender change easier'

14 June 2020, 12:37

Boris Johnson is reportedly scrapping plans to make gender changes easier
Boris Johnson is reportedly scrapping plans to make gender changes easier. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Boris Johnson is set to scrap plans to make it easier for people to change their legal gender, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Proposals to allow a birth certificate to be updated without a medical diagnosis so that people can self-identify as a different sex have been dropped, the report says.

However, Downing Street has said its response to a public consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act is yet to be finalised.

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Under Theresa May's government, plans had been drawn up to make it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificate.

However, the paper said No 10 is instead planning to announce a ban on "gay cure" therapies, in what The Sunday Times described as an attempt to appease the LGBT community.

The government was also said to be preparing new safeguards to protect female-only spaces - including refuges and public lavatories - to stop them being used by those with male anatomy.

Details of the plans were reportedly contained within a leaked paper which sets out the government's long-delayed response to a public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act.

The newspaper said the proposals were "basically ready" and were set to be published by Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss prior to MPs breaking for the summer in July.

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A Downing Street source said the details of the response were yet to be finalised, and the prime minister would have the final say on the recommendations.

According to The Sunday Times, around 100,000 responses to the public consultation were received - with around 70 per cent in favour of allowing people to self-identify as a man or a woman.

However, officials were said to believe that the results had been "skewed" by an "avalanche" of responses generated by trans rights groups.

The paper quoted a source as saying: "In terms of changing what is on your birth certificate, you will still need to have proper medical approval.

"And you're not going to be able to march in and find a hippie quack doctor who is willing to say you're a woman. That's not going to happen."

The source added: "There will be big moves on safe spaces and women-only toilets and a total ban on 'gay cure' therapies."

A Government Equalities Office spokesperson said: "We will publish our response to our consultation on the Gender Recognition Act this summer.

"The Minister for Women and Equalities has also made clear that she will be bringing forward plans to end conversion therapy shortly."