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Governments, media and people clashing over gender issues

UK Government and Scottish Government clash over gender issues

It can well be that Rishi Sunak is braced for months of legal battles over trans rights in Scotland after Nicola Sturgeon confirmed she will take the UK Government to court for blocking her flagship Bill on the issue.

The UK government has used section 35 of the Scotland Act to block the gender recognition reform bill which would have seen transformative progress for trans rights in Scotland.

For many in our society today, it is still very difficult to accept people of the female and male sex in all their aspects as they feel. Many do not take it that one should agree to the ‘whims’ of someone who feels they are in the wrong body. For parents, such a feeling of their children is much harder to grasp and deal with than for outsiders, who are even less able to understand parents when they want to deal with their children’s feelings, circumspectly.

One would expect people in government trying to search for the best solution to cope with such children who have difficulties with their body and mind. For centuries it has been incredible difficult for such persons to go through life. We do know of several welknown females who clothed themselves and behaved as man. The other way round it is much more difficult to find such historical figures. Transvestites can be found from the early days of historical writings. But the term transvestism came only into use following the publication in 1910 of Die Transvestiten (The Transvestites), a work by German physician Magnus Hirschfeld. Problem with such different clothing for the man what that many confused it with homosexuality, something which still happens today a lot.

Transvestism is distinguished from transsexualism, in which the individual feels that he or she should be a member of the opposite sex. Most transvestites, in fact, are men who comfortably fill male roles in society and are satisfied with their biological sex. By contrast, transsexuals, both male and female, are uncomfortable with their sex and usually cross-dress for an extended period before they undergo surgery. {Encyc. Britannica on transvestism}

The last few years there have been many debates about transsexualism, and some medics coming forward to help those boys and girls who feel awkward with the body they received by birth. In schools teachers also came forward to understand such children who did not feel alright with their body and with was expected from them. Too many children are still confronted with certain gender roles and find themselves adults demanding from them to feel happy with this or that or a certain role or game.

For too long it has been too difficult for people to become recognised and appreciated for what they feel. Now the Scottish government tried to bring a solution for them. The gender recognition reform bill proposed is set to make the process to obtain gender recognition certificates much easier, with the obligation for a medical diagnosis removed and the minimum age requirement altered from 18 to 16.

For much too long transgender people, like others who felt differently about their sex, than society expected from them, have been outcasted, scummed and having to experience hate crimes. It is already very difficult for a child to express its inner feelings and in certain environments, often in religious families, it is even more difficult to come out and say it wants to change gender or that it has intimate feeling for people of the same sex.

Hailed as a landmark by transgender rights activists, the bill proposed by Nicola Sturgeon‘s government would allow people age 16 or older in Scotland to change the gender designation on their identity documents by self-declaration, removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

It would also cut the time trans people must live in a different expressed gender before the change is legally recognized, from two years to three months for adults and to six months for people ages 16 and 17.

The legislation sets Scotland apart from the rest of the United Kingdom, where a medical diagnosis is needed before individuals can transition for legal purposes.

Though the British Home Office says it is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion within the department, several of its members do not like the changes. Conservative ministers argue that it would affect UK-wide equality laws and that this will have knock-on effects on the whole UK because anyone with a Scottish gender recognition certificate would gain new rights in England, Wales and Northern Ireland too. Equalities law is reserved to the UK Government under the terms of devolution.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said on Monday evening:

“After thorough and careful consideration of all the relevant advice and the policy implications, I am concerned that this legislation would have an adverse impact on the operation of Great Britain-wide equalities legislation.

“Transgender people who are going through the process to change their legal sex deserve our respect, support and understanding. My decision today is about the legislation’s consequences for the operation of GB-wide equalities protections and other reserved matters.

The Scotland Secretary is vetoing the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, arguing that having two different regimes within the UK would undermine equalities legislation, a policy area on which only Westminster is allowed to make laws.

The Scottish Government, however, maintains the law has no impact on the UK-wide Equality Act, with both laws specifying that legal gender recognition does not influence access to single-sex spaces.

The Scotland Act 1998 gives the UK Government the right to block legislation which originates in devolved legislatures but impinges on reserved policy matters. However, the relevant clause known as “section 35” has never been used before, so this would be uncharted legal waters, but regardless of the outcome of the judicial review, the losing side is likely to appeal the case until it reaches the Supreme Court for a final ruling.

British Labour peer and barrister who served as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for JusticeLord Falconer, outlined three clear reasons why Alister Jack’s belief that the bill will have an “adverse effect” on things such as equal opportunities is simply unjustified.

In a string of Tweets, Lord Falconer debunked the idea that the new Scotland GRC would come with “administrative difficulties” saying that the impact would be minimal and Section 35 couldn’t “reasonably be triggered.”

Nancy Kelley, chief executive of LGBT+ charity Stonewall, said prime minister Rishi Sunak is using trans people’s lives as “a political football”.

She said:

“This is the nuclear option. It is the only time that Section 35 of the Scotland Act has been used since 1998, in an unprecedented move which significantly undermines the devolution settlement and will unlock constitutional and diplomatic strife.”

Ms Kelley added:

“This is not governing with compassion. These are not the actions of a government that can stand on the international stage as a credible defender of LGBTQ+ rights.

“We hope that the legal process concludes swiftly and that governments of the UK focus their attention on positive strategies that support LGBTQ+ communities to thrive.”

Rachael Hamilton, the regional party’s equalities spokesperson, said:

“I hope rather than turning this issue into a constitutional football, the First Minister will now revisit this legislation.”

According to her

“the Scottish Government ignored the warnings that the Bill would have implications beyond Scotland’s borders.”

The charity, on the 16th of January, published that 14,000 people wrote to their MPs in support of the bill as part of the Treat Trans People With Respect campaign.

Opponents of the bill have argued that gender self-recognition could allow predatory men to gain access to spaces intended for women, a claim dismissed as scaremongering by supporters of the legislation.

Transphobic misinformation

Opposition MPs accused Tories of spreading transphobic misinformation for claiming that the law would allow predatory men to lie about being trans in order to access women-only spaces. Having a gender recognition certificate does not alter a person’s right to access single-sex spaces, critics of the Government argued. It is ridiculous to think a male would have his body changed, or on his ID card that he is a woman, to get easier access to single-sex spaces such as bathrooms and changing rooms. In reality, the Scottish bill would make lying about gender identity on an application punishable with up to two years in prison.

Others are concerned that certain people will find in the legislation a way to have unlawful sex. Certain Christians are also against the allowance of gender change as well as having more neutral nouns and gender neutral words, because that would be against God’s Will. Some even consider such transgenders as perverts or as sick people like homos would have a disease. Certain churches are saying that they would not allow such people in their church. Others are convinced this would bring the rights of women even more in danger.

SNP lawmaker Joanna Cherry said on Twitter she opposed the bill

“because it lacks adequate safeguards to protect the rights of women, girls & #LGB people. However, the problem is made in Scotland & should be fixed in Scotland.”

It is clear that transgender rights are part of a broader culture war between social conservatives, Christian conservatives and liberals.

Amnesty International said the Scottish Bill was consulted on for almost six years and backed by “international and domestic human rights organisations and experts”, with Scotland programme director, Naomi McAuliffe, arguing the proposed law “does nothing to modify the Equality Act” and is

“aimed simply at better respecting the rights and dignity of trans people”.

Human respect

In this century, we must for once get serious about respecting the rights of every human being. We must be aware that not everyone in society will think and act as we would like them to. But we need to recognise that there may be people who have different feelings than we want to put on their faces. The outer does not always betray the inner, but we must allow the inner to express itself and have opportunities to be expressed.
If a person does not feel comfortable in his or her body, we should allow that person the opportunity to obtain an appearance that better suits her or his inner feelings.

Several groups are already making people afraid. In a new guidance, schools are being told that allowing pupils to change their names and pronouns to match their preferred gender could have a major impact on their psychological well-being. There has been growing concern about teachers allowing children to embrace a new gender identity at school, in some cases without the knowledge of their parents. Some people want us to believe both pupils, the one changing their name and others coping with the pupil changing sex shall have a lot of psychological difficulties.

The official advice, due to be published by the Department for Education (DfE) in the coming months, comes amid a growing backlash against the Government’s plans to ban transgender conversion therapy.

Kemi Badenoch, the equalities minister, is to write to all Tory MPs and peers to insist that the ban must not criminalise parents.


Transgenders in the world


In Spain at the end of last year legal gender change was made easier. The law also removes the classification of transsexuality as a disease. To that end, it eliminates the medical requirements that were necessary for a legal gender change up till now. The Spanish bill makes it also easier for lesbian parents to get parental responsibility for their partner’s child. If the bill is enforced, the registry office will treat them the same as heterosexual parents.
The people who want to change gender no longer have to get an expert opinion but can just show a declaration of their will at the registry office. In addition, minors can request legal gender reassignment as young as 12 years. Anyone older than 16 does not even need the consent of a third party for that.

United Arab Emirates

On the 18th of January the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced that it has selected the United Arab Emirates (EUA) Gender Balance Council as a knowledge partner to advance gender balance globally. The announcement recognises the UAE’s influential role in promoting gender balance in the Arab world. It is nice to see an Arabian country daring to take the lead in women’s empowerment,

The UAE Gender Balance Council is participating in the 52nd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, which is being held in Davos, Switzerland, until today, as part of the official UAE delegation.

United States of America

In the United States of America,  it shall become more and more difficult for people who are feeling different than the majority. Very conservative and fundamental Christians, far-right people and groups like the fascist Proud Boys, are winning terrain with the Republicans, limiting the rights and freedom of people. In Nebraska an individual under nineteen years of age or under twenty-one years of age is prohibited from being present at a drag show. A penalty is also provided in case a state agency or school, would use state funds to host a drag show. Questions could be posed if a teacher would show pictures of drag queens, queer and transgender people. Also, there would be problems when someone would exhibit a gender identity that is different than the performer’s gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers; and the person or performer sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience for entertainment. For school performances, this would entail a dilemma, transgenders not able to play in their annual school performances.

These bills also make no distinction between a live and recorded performance, leaving some to wonder if movies like Mrs. Doubtfire or Fame, would be banned. In several states where republican’s are in the majority and Teaparty members have their say, schools may forget to show any film where people dressed up in clothes of the other gender. Even several Shakespearian plays utilize drag, and would not be able to be discussed or seen in school.

The American conservatives create a lot of difficulties and restrict the American citizens in their freedom to express themselves. Though they themselves are always the ones to cry about the “Freedom” the American has to have! Though now in many American states transgender comedians, transgender musicians, and plays in which transgender people are cast shall create a huge problem and are very much limited in their freedom.

Four West Virginian Senators make it very clear. They absolutely do intend to include bans on transgender people being in front of minors in anti-drag bans.

A new bill being proposed in West Virginia, outright bans any

“transvestite or transgender exposure, performance, or display”

if minors are present.

Several conservatives consider it obscene when a transgender is seen in public, so they should stay hidden in their own house, or according to the republicans and fundamental Christians (mainly evangelicals) should be placed in psychiatric institutions because “they have a serious disease”! There are others who believe such people who want to change their gender, are like homosexuals possessed by the devil.

Not only teachers who would allow transgenders in their class, and would explain about those people are in danger to be locked up in prison. Parents who want to help their children with such problems are in danger to be sued. “Obscene matter” within 2,500 feet of any school would in effect treat all transgender people like sex offenders when they come to schools. When it is transgender children, or even children wearing clothes not normally accustomed to their sex, parents could be fined.

For many transgender people, it shall become very difficult to come in public, hike or go for a swim in public. I am curious about the use of certain words. Soon those Americans are going to prohibit the use of certain words, a development we hear already in several blogs and reactions in the press by such conservatives.

Lots of American citizens of the USA would love to see the 1950s role for male and female and have it done away with all the liberties that have come over their states the last few decades. For them the stereotypes or not just roles for each sex, it is the role every male and female should accept to take because it is meant like that. For them what the stereotypical society has imposed on both genders for years is the natural way for a human being to behave.

Social Media

Even social media is feeling the hot breath of conservative Americans. A spokesperson of Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, said Thursday, after the tech giant removed two Instagram posts showing transgender and non-binary people with their chests bared, that it is reviewing its policy around showing genders. We in Europe laugh already years by the American attitude to hide or cover female nipples. The current Meta policy stayed for years in that policy, prohibiting

“images containing female nipples other than in specified circumstances, such as breastfeeding and gender confirmation surgery,”

the oversight board wrote in its decision.

That policy, it continued,

“is based on a binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies,”

and results in

“greater barriers to expression for women, trans and gender non-binary people on its platforms.”

The company is so-called constantly evaluating their policies

“to help make our platforms safer for everyone”

I wonder then how they are going to treat people who do not fit the mainstream in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, without discrimination on the basis of sex or gender.

Meta communicated

“We know more can be done to support the LGBTQ+ community, and that means working with experts and LGBTQ+ advocacy organisations on a range of issues and product improvements.”

“We have given Meta food for thought,”

oversight board member Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister of Denmark, said Thursday in a forum on Instagram.

“It’s interesting to note that the only nipples not sexualised are those of men or those who have been operated on.”

We do understand that lately, the whole affair around ht sense of orientation has gained a lot of attention in all kinds of forums and press articles. Some even feel that far too much attention is being paid to an issue that should be inherently accepted in our contemporary society. I too admit that in certain groups there is a tendency to go way too far in talking or writing about the genders of people, in the same way, that the search for genderless words engages in an overcorrection that we also observe when talking about races or the colours of people.

“Over-policing of LGBTQ content, and especially trans and nonbinary content, is a serious problem on social media platforms,”

a spokesperson for the American non-governmental media monitoring organisation and advocacy group Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) told AFP.

“The fact that Instagram’s AI system and human moderators repeatedly identified these posts as pornographic and as sexual solicitation indicates serious failures with regard to both their machine learning systems and moderator training.”

Rather, I believe the bosses of the Meta group do not want to antagonise too many of the USA citizens and are largely sucked into that American conservatism themselves.

But Meta does not want to lose the vast majority of users outside the VSA and restrict their postings too much. Therefore, they are now presumably going to find a solution to still be legally compliant with US regulations. Meta said it will publicly respond to each of the board’s recommendations on the matter by mid-March.



  1. The Telegraph looking at the 5th week of June
  2. The Week: looking at the 4th week of August 2022
  3. The Telegraph headlines for 2022/10/19
  4. The Telegraph 2022 July 11 – July 17
  5. The Week of 2022 September 19 – 25
  6. The Telegraph for Tuesday 2022/10/25
  7. The Telegraph in the morning of 2022 November 01
  8. The Frontpage for 2022/11/04
  9. The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022 November 15
  10. The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022 November 30
  11. The Telegraph Frontpage Tuesday December 03
  12. The Telegraph Frontpage for Thursday 2022 December 15
  13. The Telegraph Frontpage for Friday 2022 December 16
  14. The Telegraph Frontpage for Wednesday 2022 December 21
  15. The Telegraph Frontpage for Thursday 2022 December 22
  16. The Telegraph Frontpage Wednesday 2022 December 28
  17. The Telegraph Frontpage for Tuesday 2023 January 17
  18. The Telegraph Frontpage for Wednesday 2023 January 18
  19. In Eastern Europe the Foundations of the European Union in danger
  20. The focus of multiculturalism in Europe on Muslims and Jews
  21. When a kid comes out, the questions a parent or guardian may have are endless
  22. Living in this world and viewing it
  23. Living and Loving Faithfully
  24. Belonging to or being judged by
  25. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  26. Oppressive language of anti-Jehovah people does more than represent violence
  27. Is Your Church a Patriarchy?
  28. Prayer on this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


Additional reading

  1. Anniversary of the 19th Amendment still a long way to go
  2. Parenthood made more difficult
  3. Happiness mapping and getting over gender mapping
  4. Human relations 2013
  5. Study says highlighting gender leads to stereotypes
  6. 2014 Culture
  7. 2014 Human Rights
  8. 2015 Human rights
  9. The Catholic synod on the family and abortion
  10. Establishment of a European Pillar of Social Rights
  11. Looking at an American nightmare
  12. Going for sustainable development
  13. Do the concepts of male and female need to have a formal official definition
  14. Colours, men, women, genders, choices of words and political football
  15. Gender, genderless, androgyny, bisexuality, cisgender and transgender
  16. Study says highlighting gender leads to stereotypes
  17. Trans extremism, trans ideology, genderless a.o. categories and TERFs
  18. The dilemma of gender neutrality
  19. Freedom for whom?
  20. She/Her – They/Them – Person
  21. The Concept of Gender Neutrality and You
  22. The World of ‘Men’?
  23. Gender Neutrality
  24. For those who think there are no gender neutral people or that there is no reason to change gender
  25. Are School Curriculums Promoting Gender Stereotypes?


Supporters of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill protest outside the Scottish Parliament on Dec. 20. Photographer: Jane Barlow/PA/AP Photo


  1. How to Explain Gender Identity to a Child
  2. The Myth of Being Normal
  3. Keep parents in the dark about kids’ sex change, says taxpayer-funded “advocate”
  4. Guidelines for gender-sensitive language. Are the EU Parliament’s efforts enough?
  5. is androgyny even possible? #33
  6. The importance of inclusive language
  7. Gender Reassignment with Kids Has Gone Too Far
  8. How many genders are there? Experts break it down
  9. Men: Masculinity or Masculinism. Do we get it right?
  10. Competitiveness and gender
  11. Gillian Keegan’s Teen Transition Lesson Learned From New Education Adviser
  12. Janelle Monáe embraces their gender identity in a powerful speech at the Critic’s Choice Awards
  13. Listen: Lisa Breaks Rank to Back Trans Treatment for Children
  14. Will Young blasts Tories for creating ‘fear’ around trans people: ‘Huge amount of misrepresentation’
  15. Turmoil as Westminster derails Scotland’s Gender Recognition Bill
  16. Scotland’s gender recognition bill halted by U.K.: What to know
  17. UK government blocks Scotland’s progressive gender recognition reform bill
  18. Government Plans to Block Border Crossing Crossdressing
  19. Sunak and Sturgeon set for months of legal battles over decision to block gender Bill
  20. UK Government Vetoes Scotland’s Law Makers: Reaction Roundup
  21. Labour peer expertly explains why blocking Scotland’s gender bill is completely unjustified
  22. We need to change how we’re raising boys
  23. A new study finds hormone therapy improves mental health for transgender youth
  24. Transgender protesters rally outside Downing Street in show of anger after Rishi Sunak blocks Scottish law
  25. The Effects of Hate – A Visual
  26. Spain’s Win for Transgender Rights Almost Tore the Country Apart
  27. World Economic Forum Selects UAE Gender Balance Council As Knowledge Partner To Advance Gender Balance Globally
  28. New WV Obscenity Bill Would Jail People For “Transgender Exposure” To Minors
  29. Podcast Episode: A New Chair with Rep. Bruce Skaug
  30. Full of It
  31. Classic kids toy Mr. Potato Head gets new, gender-neutral name
  32. Transgender people in rural America struggle to find doctors willing or able to provide care – Stars Obituary
  33. Meta Reviews Adult Nudity Policy After Transgender User’s Photos Removed
  34. Power Poll: Legislative Culture Wars
  35. I spent 30 years wanting to be my wife — after she died I came out as trans
  36. “tenderqueer” and exorsexism #55
  37. why i’m not trans anymore #57
  38. Ashley Diamond won a legal victory to protect incarcerated trans people in 2016. Now, she’s suing again.
  39. Transgender Takeover of Medicine
  40. Gender Neutral Uniforms, Safe Washrooms: NCERT’s Manual for Schools on Transgender Students
  41. Florida Gov. DeSantis Seeks Details on Transgender University Students
  42. Ohio’s LGBTQ+ kids need protection from bullies and violence, not adults targeting and bullying them too

Published by Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".

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