This is a statement from Stephen Allison, Public Engagement Co-ordinator, in response to the passing of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill by the Scottish Parliament.
“The Free Church of Scotland is saddened and concerned by the passing of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill by the Scottish Parliament. Whilst we recognise the difficulties experienced by people with gender dysphoria, and seek to care for them within our communities, we believe that gender is neither a choice nor a social construct. We are therefore not convinced that affirming someone’s understanding of themselves is the best way to care for them.
In particular, we are concerned that a move away from requiring a medical diagnosis and supporting medical evidence will result in less support being given to those who are wrestling with their identity. We are also concerned about lowering the minimum age to 16 which will lead to more young people making life-altering decisions without proper support.
Several women’s organisations have also made clear their concerns, particularly around the loss of women-only safe spaces and the increased risks this poses for women and girls. We agree with these concerns.
Overall, we believe this bill will result in a great deal of harm in our society – particularly to young people, women, and those who are suffering from gender dysphoria. We are saddened that more of our MSPs did not recognise these harms in the passing of this bill.”