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Reform of Gender Recognition Act (2004) - Government Consultation
The government has launched a public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004, on how to make it easier for transgender people to change their legal gender on their birth certificate. The 16-week consultation, which affects England and Wales, will review the process of acquiring a Gender Recognition Certificate - which is given to people who are legally recognised as being of their new gender - and aim to reduce the time and cost for people applying.

The consultation will look at many aspects of the present process of obtaining legal recognition, including the requirements for the transgender person to:
  • provide two medical reports, one showing a diagnosis of 'gender dysphoria' and the other outlining details of treatment received
  • obtain the consent of their spouse if they are married
  • demonstrate that they have lived in their acquired gender for at least 2 years
  • pay £140

Theresa May has made her views clear: "I want to see a process that is more streamlined and de-medicalised - because being trans should never be treated as an illness."
The consultation documents can be found here, and the online survey here. Alternatively, written submissions can be made to: Department for Education Sanctuary Buildings Great Smith Street London SW1P 3BT


Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill

On 8 June the Scottish Government introduced the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill. The stated aim of the Bill is to introduce an opt-out system of organ and tissue donation for the purposes of transplantation with a view to increasing the range of circumstances in which deceased organ donation and associated medical procedures are authorised.

The Bill has been referred to the Health and Sport Committee for consideration. You can see the full proposed timetable for consideration, as well as the consultation documents, on the Committee's webpage.

At its meeting on 26 June the Committee agreed to issue a call for views on the Bill. This will run until Tuesday 4 September 2018. The Committee welcome views on the Bill and are asking for responses to the following questions:

  • What do you think are they key strengths and weaknesses of the proposals to introduce 'deemed authorisation' for those who have not made their wishes on organ donation known?
  • What do you think are they key strengths and weaknesses of the plans for authorisation of pre-death procedures?
  • Do you have any other comments to make on the Bill?

CMF will be submitting a response.

In addition, there is a brief online survey that can be found here and should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete


Relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education

The Department for Education (DfE) is proposing that schools are required to teach relationships education at primary school, relationships and sex education at secondary school and health education at all state-funded schools. The draft regulations and associated statutory guidance build on the findings from the call for evidence and DfE's engagement with a wide range of expert organisations and interested parties. The responses to the consultation will help inform any further refining of the draft regulations and statutory guidance before the regulations are put before Parliament and the guidance finally published.

On one level these changes might sound positive, but it very much depends on what is in the curriculum, which is likely to become more centralised and less in the hands of parents, as a result of these changes. Of particular concern, the Government confirmed that it will remove the right of parents to withdraw their children from sex education once they reach the age of 15. It is proposed that from 15 this should be a decision for the child in question which the school should honour.
CMF will be making a submission.
The consultation document is available here

The consultation closes on 7 November 2018


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