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HomeU.S.Scotland's move to simplify gender change stirs strong views

Scotland’s move to simplify gender change stirs strong views

'Quick read' news summary

LONDON -- A plan by Scotland’s government to make it easier for people to change gender for legal purposes has sparked acrimonious debate, with lawmakers arguing inside the Edinburgh parliament and rival groups of protesters demonstrating outside. The Scottish parliament is set to resume debating the bill Wednesday after a session the previous day lasted until midnight. Supporters of transgender rights demonstrated outside the parliament building in Edinburgh to urge lawmakers to support the bill.

LONDON — A plan by Scotland’s government to make it easier for people to change gender for legal purposes has sparked acrimonious debate, with lawmakers arguing inside the Edinburgh parliament and rival groups of protesters demonstrating outside.

A bill introduced by the Scottish National Party-led government would allow people to transition by self-declaration, removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. The government says it a simple step that will improve the lives of transgender people by allowing them to get official documents that correspond with their gender identity.

Opponents, including “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, claim the simplified procedure risks allowing predatory men to gain access to spaces intended for women, such as shelters for domestic abuse survivors.

The Scottish parliament is set to resume debating the bill Wednesday after a session the previous day lasted until midnight. A final vote is scheduled, though multiple amendments mean it may be delayed.

Tuesday’s debate descended into acrimony, with spectators shouting “Shame on you” after lawmakers defeated an amendment that aimed to prevent convicted sex offenders from obtaining a gender recognition certificate.

Legislators also defeated an amendment that would have set the minimum age for gender transition at 18 rather than 16.

Supporters of transgender rights demonstrated outside the parliament building in Edinburgh to urge lawmakers to support the bill. One of them, Beth Douglas, said the bill under debate would allow people to have birth certificates — and eventually their death certificates — that match their gender identity.

“There will be a

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