As you may be aware, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 does not apply to Scotland in full and the Scottish Government introduced their own legislation within this area, the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009. Transgender people – as with everyone else in society – have the right to expect to be treated equally under the law.
The SNP Scottish Government have long championed LGBTI equality and Scotland has been praised for having some of the best equality laws in Europe. Indeed, Scotland has been rated the best country in Europe for LGBTI equality and human rights in both 2015 and 2016, according to the Rainbow Europe Index.
My SNP colleagues and I are fully committed to equality and social justice for all, and I am proud that the SNP Scottish Government’s equal marriage legislation is regarded as one of the most progressive equal marriage laws of anywhere in the world. We know, however, that the job of achieving full equality is not yet done which is why in our manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, the SNP pledged to reform gender recognition law to secure greater equality for transgender and non-binary people. The Scottish Government is committed to reviewing and reforming gender recognition law to ensure it is in line with international best practice for those who are transgender or intersex. The SNP Scottish Government has also committed to improving the protocol for people seeking gender reassignment to provide a clearer and consistent treatment pathway that is equitable, effective, and patient-focussed.
I hope that this reassures you of the focus that is being given to improving outcomes for transgender and intersex people in Scotland.