Rishi Sunak’s government used section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 for the first time to halt the gender recognition bill passed by Scottish parliament which intended to introduce a self-idebtification system for people who want to change gender. The law was passed by the Scottish parliament by 86 votes to 39. UK ministers, who met in Westminster on Monday to consider how to approach the legislation, are concerned the bill will have an “adverse impact” on UK-wide equalities law. It is the first time a Scottish law has been blocked for affecting UK-wide law because having “two different gender recognition schemes in the UK” risked creating “significant complications,” including “allowing more fraudulent or bad faith applications”.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the move a “full-frontal attack” on the Scottish Parliament and vowed to oppose it.“Transgender people who are going through the process to change their legal sex deserve our respect, support and understanding,” the Scottish secretary responded. “This is a dark day for trans rights and a dark day for democracy in the UK,” Scottish Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison declared.