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London Trans Pride to protest the blocking of Scotland’s gender reform bill

London Trans Pride's emergency protest begins at 5pm on Wednesday 18 January outside 10 Downing Street.

By Emily Maskell

Trans flag
The UK has come out miserably in terms of support for pro-trans measure in a new survey. (Image: Unsplash)

London Trans Pride (LTP) has arranged an emergency protest on Wednesday (18 January) after the UK government blocked Scotland’s gender reform legislation.

The protest will show solidarity with Scotland after the UK government’s unprecedented move and call for UK-wide gender recognition reform.

Scotland’s government passed its gender reform bill in December. The reforms would remove the need for a medical diagnosis to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). It was blocked on Monday (16 January)

London Trans Pride’s call for action on Instagram reads: “We will take action and have our voices heard!!”

Wednesday’s protest aims “to show solidarity for Scotland’s independence and autonomy as it leads the UK’s fight for gender reform,” LTP states.

The organisation also wants to “champion the continuing battle against transphobia in the rest of the nation.”

London Trans Pride's emergency protest
London Trans Pride’s emergency protest (Image: Instagram/@londontranspride)

From 5pm today outside 10 Downing Street protesters are being asked to gather with the demonstration set to begin at 6pm.

Speeches will begin at 6:30pm. “Bring signs, wear masks, dress warm,” LTP advises.

In a statement on Monday, the UK government’s Scotland Secretary, Alister Jack, confirmed he’d blocked the bill using section 35 of the Scotland Act. This prevents it from attaining royal assent and becoming law.

He wrote that trans people “deserve our respect, support and understanding.” However, he expressed concern about the bill consequence on the UK when it comes to equalities legislation.

Jack concluded by saying he hoped the UK and Scottish governments can “find a constructive way forward,” suggesting amending the bill.

It follows concerns expressed by the UK government, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, about the impact of the law on UK-wide legislation.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, described the decision as “a full-frontal attack on our democratically elected Scottish Parliament and its ability to make its own decisions.”

Sturgeon’s outrage was shared by Labor MP Nadia Whittome who suggested Section 35 is really about “fanning the flames of a culture war that is harming trans people across the UK.”

She added: “The Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Bill does not affect the operation of the Equality Act.”

In a statement, the LGBTQ charity Stonewall said it was “saddened” by the UK government’s actions. 

“The UK government should be focused on developing and implementing a strategy that improves the lives of all LGBTQ+ people, including trans people, not causing them more harm.”

The blocking of Scotland’s Gender Recognition Act came the day before the UK government confirmed the ‘conversion therapy’ ban will include trans people. Plans for a ‘conversion therapy’ ban in the UK date back to 2018.