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Government delays transgender rights review to consider ‘significant reforms’

Nick Duffy May 9, 2016

The government has postponed its response to a Parliamentary report calling for urgent trans rights reforms.

Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee, chaired by Conservative MP Maria Miller, released a landmark report on trans issues in January, four months ago.

The committee warned that the NHS is currently in violation of the law due to extensive waiting times for transgender services, and also found that the current process of gender recognition is not fit for purpose.

Trans people currently have to jump several bureaucratic hurdles to get a Gender Recognition Certificate – with a panel judging whether they have provided enough ‘evidence’.

The report proposed a shake-up to the system after finding that the process is so convoluted, many trans people are giving up.

The government has insisted it is still “weighing up” the proposals – and in a release just before the election last week, Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan admitted her response would miss its deadline.

Writing to committee chair Maria Miller, she wrote: “I am writing to let you know that there will be a delay in publishing the Government’s response to your committee’s report on transgender equality.

“As I mentioned at the Women and Equalities OPQs on 14 March, the Government welcomed your report and is studying the recommendations in detail.

“However, this process is taking time. Your report called for very significant changes to the legislative framework around gender recognition, as well as significant reforms of NHS and other public service processes, covering around a dozen different public bodies in total.

“We are looking through these carefully, but we are not yet in a position to issue a substantive response on all of them.

“I understand that you were hoping to see the Government’s response immediately after the Easter recess.

“Unfortunately, we need more time to ensure the best possible response to your report overall. But I will keep you informed of progress and let you know the publication date in good time.”

More: gender, LGBT, Nicky Morgan, report, Trans, Transgender

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