Mar 26, 2020

Girl looking in mirror

The Scottish Roman Catholic Church has urged the Holyrood Government to drop the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which allows self-declaration of gender without medical involvement and reduces the age limit to 16.

While it seems likely that fast-track gender swaps will not go ahead in England and Wales, the SNP are pushing ahead with the reform in Scotland, despite dissent in their ranks and opposition from feminist groups and others.

In a letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, the Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, expresses concern that self-declaration will mean young people who suffer with gender dysphoria will not get the care they need.

Pointing to evidence that most young people “will reconcile with their biological sex beyond adolescence”, the bishop warns that young people may make ‘permanent legal declarations on their gender which could lead to irreversible consequences, with scant knowledge of what this means for their long-term health and wellbeing’.

He also cautions about the risks to women in single-sex spaces such as prisons, highlighting that ‘the incidence rate of men identifying as women is now 350 times higher among the prison population than in the general population.’

Separately, in a response to the Government consultation the bishops explain that the “biological reality of sexual difference” is, like marriage, “part of the natural law: an unchanging principle of human existence”.

At C4M we share the bishops’ concerns about the Scottish Government’s proposals, and echo their call to drop them for the best interests of society. The biological reality of women and men, which underpins the traditional definition of marriage, must be respected if human beings are to flourish.