Less than 20 percent of voters refuse to veto the gender law

Throughout his campaign as leader of the SNP and First Minister, Humza Yousaf campaigned for a court challenge to the UK Government’s Section 35, which blocked the Gender Recognition Reform Act (Scotland), which will allow people to change their gender faster change.

The Conservative government said the legislation interferes with equality legislation, which includes provisions protecting women’s rights to same-sex spaces such as infirmaries, changing rooms and toilets in Scotland and across the UK, reserved for Westminster.

Kate Forbes, his main rival, supported a compromise and Ash Regan, the third candidate, wanted to drop a lawsuit altogether.

The Scottish Greens made it imperative for their party to challenge the bloc to continue the cooperation deal with the SNP in Holyrood as part of the Bute House Agreement.

CONTINUE READING: Humza Yousaf faces 15 rebellious SNP MSPs ready to challenge the government

Mr Yousaf underscored what he believed to be the importance of the agreement with the Greens throughout the leadership contest, although Mr Yousaf said in later debates he would not go to court if legal advice suggested it would fail. After being elected SNP leader on Monday, the MSP for Glasgow Pollok reiterated its commitment to contest the order.

The deadline for filing a judicial review of the veto cases is April 17, just after the Scottish Parliament returned from its Easter recess, which lasts until April 16.

This means last Friday’s cabinet meeting is likely to be the only full gathering of Mr Yousaf’s new ministerial team before the decision on a court case has to be made.

Neil Gray, Mr Yousaf’s campaign manager during the SNP leadership contest and now Cabinet Secretary for Welfare Economics, Fair Work and Energy, was questioned this morning about the new government’s plans.


Asked on the BBC’s Sunday Show whether the government would pursue court proceedings against the Section 35 order that prevented the bill from receiving royal assent, Mr Gray said: “We need to make sure we look at what is possible .
“I think the first principle is to make sure we challenge the first use of Section 35 power and make sure we look at the advice available and make a decision in the coming weeks… We have a very short window of opportunity before this one decision must be made.”

He added that he believed Scots would understand the need to protect the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate in an area which he believed fell within Holyrood’s jurisdiction.

“We will make sure to set off in due course as the deadline for the decision we are making approaches,” he said.

said Scottish Conservative Equality spokeswoman Rachael Hamilton MSP: “The SNP got their deeply unpopular gender reform bill through Parliament and now it seems they want to avoid any further scrutiny by MSPs.

“A senior member of Humza Yousaf’s government is openly suggesting that they would rather continue playing constitutional games than work constructively to fix this reckless legislation.

“Everyone wants to improve the lives of transgender people but this law has been deeply unpopular with people across Scotland because it endangers the safety of women and girls.

“The UK Government was left with little power to intervene due to the impact on equality legislation across the country.

“Humza Yousaf should think about it instead of trying to start another row with the British government.”

Research by Panelbase for the Sunday Times found that 18 per cent think Yousaf should take legal action against the UK government’s decision to block the legislation.

Instead, 44 percent say it should abandon the bill altogether, 24 percent think a compromise should be found with the UK government and 14 percent of those polled said they didn’t know.

Barring those undecided, 51 percent believed the law, which would introduce self-identification policies and lower the age at which a person can legally change their gender to 16, should be scrapped altogether.

CONTINUE READING: Scottish Tories call for tactical vote to end SNP dominance

Even among SNP voters in the poll, 35 percent supported Mr Yousaf’s view, while 28 percent wanted a compromise with the UK and 26 percent said the law should be dropped entirely. Eleven percent said they didn’t know.

The First Minister’s spokesman said he did not expect legal advice challenging the UK government to be released and that the full Cabinet does not need to meet to make a decision on the best course of action.

According to the panelbase findings, gender recognition reform is a priority for a tiny number of Scots, with just four per cent saying it should be one of Mr Yousaf’s top priorities.

Meanwhile, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has said transgender rights should not override women’s rights.

Speaking on Holyrood’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which proposed self-identification for those wanting to change their legal gender, he told the Sunday Times today: “The lesson from Scotland is that you can’t take the public on a journey of reform , then you are probably not on the right track. And so I think collectively there should be a reset in Scotland.”

Scottish Labor supported the reforms, but in Holyrood, but the party urged its MPs to abstain when the SNP tabled a motion to challenge the UK government’s application of Section 35.

Speaking of the legislation, Mr Starmer said: “I think there is a fear that some of the things gained could somehow be reversed. There are still many battles to be fought for women and I don’t think we should roll it all back.

“I think we should win the next fights for women. And that’s a very important kind of starting point for this debate.”

He added: “There are some people who identify as a different gender than they were born with. It is a very small number and that is why the Gender Recognition Act was passed [in 2004].

“Recognizing that they need legal support and a framework, and most people don’t agree with that, and that’s the framework within which we should be dealing with these issues. But simply turning it into a toxic divide furthers the cause of no one, the cause of women or those who don’t identify with the gender they were born into.

“And it’s also a pattern of behavior over the last decade that now turns everything into a toxic culture if it can, which is the last resort of politicians who have nothing substantial to say on the issue.”

https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/23429395.less-20-per-cent-voters-back-challenge-gender-bill-veto/?ref=rss Less than 20 percent of voters refuse to veto the gender law

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