BY Peter Diamond | January 17 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Catholic Church says Scots must engage in new draft gender bill

The Church has said it is ‘important that Catholics engage in the consultation’ of a draft bill, which the Scottish Government is holding on reforming current legislation in relation to legal gender recognition.

The Catholic Church also reaffirmed the position that they believe ‘gender cannot be reduced to a mere construct of society that is fluid and changeable.’

The proposals in the consultation, which has now opened and will run until March 17, include: removing the requirement to apply to the Gender Recognition Panel for a Gender Recognition Certificate; remove requirement for applicants to provide medical evidence of a diagnosis of gender dysphoria; and reducing the minimum age of application from 18 to 16 years.

The Church has also warned that any change could be a ‘troubling development’ especially for young people below the age of 18.



A spokesperson for the Catholic Church said: “The Catholic Church is steadfast in its conviction that gender cannot be reduced to a mere construct of society that is fluid and changeable.

“However, at the same time society in general must remain unwavering in its concern for those who experience gender dysphoria and will expect those in authority to ensure appropriate support is available to those who need it.

“The proposed de-medicalisation of gender dysphoria with respect to the legal process of changing gender is a troubling development, especially for younger people under the age of 18.”



The Church called for a tone of respect around the debate and said: “Whatever the outcome of this consultation the right to disagree with the idea that gender is fluid and changeable must be respected.”

A spokesperson added: “Many people do not believe that gender identity is a matter of choice, or something that may be entirely divorced from the biological sex in which we are born.

“We are to acknowledge and accept to the best of our ability (for some this will be genuinely difficult) our sexual identity and the physical, moral and spiritual differences and complementarities which flow from this.”


Family life

The spokesperson continued: “These differences and complementarities are oriented towards the good of marriage and to the flourishing of family life.

“It is imperative that government encourages and society allows for an open, honest and informed debate on this complex and sensitive issue.

“It is also important that Catholics engage in the consultation.”

The Catholic Parliamentary Office is due to publish a briefing for those who wish to take part in the consultation in due course.

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