Written evidence submitted by Rev Graham Haddow (GRA0318)

 

Should the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria be removed?

No. Already transgenderism is causing anxieties regarding the use of toilets and changing-rooms. It causes embarrassment and also fear of molestation. To remove the necessity of medical assessment would only increase those problems.

For young people, especially, there is clear evidence that a “craze” and peer-pressure are causing an unprecedented rise in those claiming gender dysphoria. Removal of any medical assessment does nothing to ease those pressures.

Medical assessment is also likely to uncover some underlying medical, emotional or even mental health cause that needs treating.

 

Should there be changes to the requirement for individuals to have lived in their acquired gender for at

least two years?

The requirement for evidence of two years living in the opposite sex should not be removed or shortened. It is right that such a life-changing legal process should have a substantial time requirement built in.

It is normal for important life changes to require a significant quantity of evidence, sometimes of a sensitive nature. Examples include becoming a British citizen, or adopting your spouse’s surname.

The desire to live as the opposite sex is often temporary, though it may be experienced for several years, giving the impression of permanence. Often detransitioners took years to finally decide to reverse their sex-change. The possibility of regret must be given time to develop. Some transgender people now feel trapped in their acquired sex, and resent the fact that they were affirmed too quickly without appropriate assessment.5

What is your view of the statutory declaration and should any changes have been made to it?

The statutory declaration is a wise way of making people think about the serious nature of permanently changing gender – this is no trivial change – therefore the statutory declaration should remain.

If a person then takes the decision to change gender, provision should be made for them to revert to their birth sex, but never to be allowed to change back and forth.

Does the spousal consent provision in the Act need reforming?

No. It would be cruel for one party to be allowed to change gender identity without spousal consent as this might well force upon that spouse a same-sex marriage against their will. A substantial proportion of the populace opposed same-sex marriage when it was introduced.

Should the age limit at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) be lowered?

No. The teen years are volatile years and major decisions taken during those years are often regrated later.

Additionally, as I have indicated above, it has often been found that there are underlying mental health issues – autism and eating disorders for instance – and a number of cases have been found manifesting those mental health issues by self-harming. Proper medical assessment needs to take place.

Are legal reforms needed to better support the rights of gender-fluid and non-binary people?

Biologically, we are either male or female – that is how God made us. Gender fluidity and is meaningless, having no objective definition. Our legal experts would have a headache trying to create legal rights for a third (or more) undefinable sexes.

 

November 2020