By Jonathon Van Maren
On December 22, the Scottish National Party (SNP) passed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill despite opposition from the majority of Scottish voters – and from Westminster. Sturgeon ignored her critics and the women-led protests who called her bill one of the greatest legal assaults on women’s rights in decades, and the law passed 86 to 39. Cries of “shame on you!” erupted as the bill passed – a radical piece of social engineering designed to transform Scottish society in a single fell swoop. Protests became so rowdy that the Scottish parliament had to be suspended after demonstrators in the gallery made their displeasure known.
“No one is listening to women!” one shouted – and that summed up the feelings of the protestors. The fierce debates on Tuesday and Wednesday went longer than any in the history of Scottish Parliament.
But the actions of Sturgeon and the SNP – with the support of the Labour Party and the Lib Dems –suggests something more sinister than simply not listening. The Gender Recognition Reform Bill not only enshrines self-identification into law and entirely removes the need for a formal diagnosis of gender dysphoria for anyone 16 or older, creating a legal regime where anyone can identify as whatever they want, whenever they want. Activists have also pointed out that violent criminals will opt to identify as female under this new regime – and indeed, this has already begun to happen across the U.K.
Critics – including famed author J.K. Rowling – have noted that violent male sex offenders could “transition” simply by declaring themselves female (with a little help from Ms. Sturgeon!) and then force their victims to use female pronouns in court and elsewhere. To address this, a clause to the law was put forward to block those on the sex offenders’ register from obtaining a gender recognition certificate –and it failed by a single vote on the evening of December 21. As Tory leader Douglas Ross noted: “The government stopped that amendment by a single vote. The First Minister’s own vote means a man standing trial for rape can claim they’re a woman and force a victim to call them ‘she.’ Why did the First Minister vote for this?”