Thank you for contacting me about the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA).
I am determined that everyone in the UK should be free to live their lives in safety and within the law and fulfil their potential.
My colleagues in the Government Equalities Office have looked carefully and thoroughly into the gender recognition process, including considering potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004. After careful consideration, it is their view that existing legislation strikes the right balance between ensuring there are proper checks and balances in the system and ensuring that there is support in place for people who want to change their legal sex.
However, with bureaucracy and cost being highlighted as two key obstacles in the process, the Government has brought forward measures to move the entire procedure online and to reduce the existing £140 fee to a nominal amount.
It is right, I believe, that the Minister for Women and Equalities has said that any reforms will ensure the protection of single-sex spaces, an important safeguard, especially for women and girls.
The Equality Act 2010 clearly protects transgender people from discrimination. The same act allows service providers to restrict access to single sex spaces on the basis of biological sex if there is a clear justification. It thereby strikes an important balance, in my view.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP