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Boris Johnson appears to confirm the Tories are kicking Gender Recognition Act reform into the long grass – again

Vic Parsons July 20, 2020
Gender Recognition Act: Disney and Sky urge Tories to honour reform plan

Boris Johnson (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has apparently confirmed that the results of the Gender Recognition Act consultation will not be announced before parliament breaks for recess but will instead be delayed – again.

Johnson’ equalities chief Liz Truss had promised that the results of the huge 2018 public consultation on proposed changes to the GRA, along with the government’s plan for the legislation, would be published before parliament breaks for summer recess on Wednesday (July 22).

But in an interview with ITV on July 20, Johnson appeared to confirm growing speculation that the GRA results would not be published before Wednesday, saying that the Tories response will be published “over the summer”.

“On the general issue of our response to the Gender Recognition Act, we’ve said that we’ll be responding over the summer and that’s what we’re gonna do,” Johnson said.

Theresa May’s Conservative government announced plans to reform the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which governs the way trans men and women in the UK gain legal recognition of their gender, in 2017.

A huge public consultation on potential changes was held in 2018, with more than 100,000 people reportedly sharing their views on proposed improvements to the law.

However, subsequent Tory governments have repeatedly stalled on publishing the results. They were expected to be announced by Johnson’s equalities chief Liz Truss before parliament’s summer recess on July 21, although it was leaked to the Sunday Times last month that plans to reform the GRA had been scrapped.

Widespread confusion over whether or not GRA reform was being scrapped, as well as fears over potential US-style anti-trans “bathroom bills” and anger about anti-trans rhetoric making its way into the highest levels of government, led to peaceful trans-rights protests in London, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and the Isle of Wight.

Truss is the latest of several Tory ministers for women and equalities to delay plans for the GRA announcement.

Her predecessors Penny Mordaunt and Amber Rudd also promised to publish the results and the government’s proposals for reforming the GRA – Mordaunt, like Truss, promised to do this before parliament’s summer recess in 2019 – only to then repeatedly kick those plans into the long grass.

PinkNews has contacted the government equalities office for comment.

More: Boris Johnson, gender recognition act, GRA Reform, liz truss, trans rights

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