Government Equalities Office
Government responds to Gender Recognition Act consultation
Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, has today [Tuesday 22 September] set out the government’s response to the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004.
- The requirements necessary to legally change gender will remain the same, but the process will be modernised
- The application fee for a Gender Recognition Certificate will be significantly reduced to ensure cost is not a barrier for anyone
- Government is also taking action to ensure transgender people can access the appropriate healthcare they need
Following a considerable amount of consultation with the public and representative organisations, the government has decided that the current provisions within the Act allow for those that wish to legally change their sex to do so safely and fairly.
However, the process of applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate will be modernised - the application will be digitised on gov.uk, and the fee for the application will be significantly reduced to make it more user-friendly.
Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, said:
“We believe in individual liberty and in the humanity and dignity of every person.
“It is my view that the balance struck in the existing legislation is correct. There are proportionate checks and balances in the system, alongside support for people that want to change their legal sex.
“To make the application process as straightforward as possible, we are bringing it into one place on gov.uk, and ensuring cost is not a barrier for anyone.”
The Government is taking action to ensure transgender people can access the appropriate healthcare they need.
Funding for gender identity services has increased by 50% over the last three years, with at least three new gender clinics established over 2020/21. The UK’s first National LGBT Health Advisor is also supporting Government to improve transgender people’s patient experience, and take meaningful action to address historical problems that have resulted in long waiting times to access specialised gender identity services.
In order to apply for a GRC, applicants will continue to need:
- A medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria from an approved medical practitioner;
- A medical report from an approved medical professional providing details of any treatment they have had;
- Evidence they have lived in their new gender for at least two years;
- Agreement from their spouse/civil partner to the marriage/civil partnership;
- Make a statutory declaration that they intend to live in the acquired gender until death (making a false statement is a criminal offence).
This is then sent to a Gender Recognition Panel, made up of four judges and four medical professionals, for assessment. Each application is assessed by one judge and one medical professional, who decide whether to issue the GRC. The applicant is not required to meet the panel.
- The GRA consultation, launched in 2018 by the previous administration, saw more than 100,000 responses submitted. And, alongside today’s announcement, the government has published an analysis of those responses.
- Alongside the consultation responses, Officials and Ministers have met with more than 140 organisations and representative groups to hear their views on the GRA.
- Consultation analysis was handled independently by Nottingham Trent University.
- No robust estimate exists for the size of the transgender population in the UK.
- The Government has asked the Law Commission to review the coverage and effectiveness of current hate crime legislation, which includes exploring whether transphobic hate crime should be considered an aggravated offence.
In July 2018 the previous administration published the National LGBT Survey. The survey received over 108,000 valid responses, making it the largest national survey to date of LGBT people anywhere in the world
- Read the analysis of consultation responses
- Read the Minister for Women and Equalities’ written statement to Parliament
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