Minister, Shona Robison will be up next talking about GRR
Robison says process is lengthy and intrusive. Only 6000 people out of 500,000 trans people have a GRC (is she suggesting this is likely number?!)

Mentions "international best practice" which we still haven't bottomed out.
Expects number will rise from 30 to 250/300 per anum.

Says it doesn't change definition of man or woman and how trans people can be excluded from SSS but then says trans people become their "legal gender"

Long list of what Bill doesn't do - we might ask what is the point?
Meeting is suspended!
Convener has cut the live feed.
We're back. Several women in the gallery behind Shona appear to have been removed.

Chapman is asking about removal of diagnosis.

Robison talking about panel being demeaning and on about Intl BP. Mentioned Ireland. Yes, we all saw that one...
"It's very serious statutory declaration and you have to live your life in that gender" (do we have a definition for this yet?).

No evidence of misuse in other countries. Hefty penalties for misuse (what defines misuse?)
MC asks about prison.

Shona says "overwhelming evidence is that sexual offences are committed by men on women".

(Completely misses the point about threat to prison allocation)
Rachael Hamilton: will GRC issued by Registrar General have a UK wide effect and how will they issue revised BC?

SR: it's up to them.

(suggests a Scottish GRC could well be useless in RUK)
RH: have you talked to UK Gov?

Peter Hope Jones: regularly talk to them. Formal conversations about mutual recognition haven't taken place. This is routine.

RH: do you supreme court challenge?

PHJ: UK have list of recognised territories that need to be updated.
Pam Gosal: 58% of those responding to short survey were not in favour. They have had to have last min sessions to ensure scrutiny was balanced. They haven't had enough time. Stage one was rushed through. Democracy would be better served by a delay.

SR: there have been 2 consultations.
BBC poll and More in Common

(yes, but you have to read the consultations!)

Met with groups for and against. (Not until after the Bill was lodged). SAS also met with range of orgs (I think we'd disagree with that!

So not right to pause.
PG: Why are people saying they haven't been heard. Last week was three sessions in one week. What would you say to those who feel like that?

SR: It's a polarised discussion. Reasons for opposition often aren't about Bill. cites SHRC on other countries, no evidence of problem.
Maybe Shona is unaware of what is happening in prison in Canada
This just happened behind Shona

#SturgeonDestroyerOfWomensRights #SummerOfDiscontent
PG: asking why the conversations with those opposed did not happen until Jan. Did you take anything on board?

SR: claiming she listened to views and thought about 16 year olds. And committed to annual reporting.
PHJ: Pointing to the EQIA

(which is pretty poor and has been called out as such)

Covid was problem... Views absolutely considered... core didn't change...
Karen Adam: concerns of those opposed have been "debunked" in evidence sessions. What would be consequences of delay?

SR: delay won't enhance public discourse. Further delay wouldn't be helpful. Only tiny number affected.
PG: Will you consider blocking those convicted of sex crimes? If not what protection will Bill give?

SR: SHRC no body of evidence in self ID countries that people use the process. All abuse comes from predatory men. (expect the ones in Ireland mentioned last week?)
SR: says SSS can exclude under the EA2010 whether or not have GRC.

PG: raises S22 and how women, esp women of faith, can ensure that they are not seen by male Dr (for example).

SR: Not related to Bill, it's about healthcare. @ShonaRobison you were asked about section 22!
Talking about how there is never a guarantee in NHS services.

(This isn't the point. The point is being told someone is a woman when they are not)
SR: if someone doesn't disclose, this is something for the employer. People in caring profession would want to respect person's wishes and be guided by EHRC.

@ShonaRobison two words - Mridul Wadhwa.
SR: SHRC no evidence of self exclusion. Time @ScotHumanRights learnt that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Esp after the evidence of the Irish senator that they do not collect the data!
Karen Adam: Calling transwomen "biologically male" is a "transphobic dogwhistle"

What are they then, Karen?
Pam Duncan Glancy: disappointed by public level of discourse. Vacuum left between 2017 and now was largely responsible.

SR: Human Rights shouldn't be seen in opposition to each other. It's been well discussed.
SR: Once legislation in place & no is tiny and see that none of concerns come to fruition, it will be better.

(Again, because Ireland is a great example of that?!)

Polling shows young people are supportive.
PDG: Lack of clarity of process for detransitioners. How would they be protected from criminal process?

SR: submit application under same process. Offence is "knowingly" making false decl. Evidence is only small number do that.

(so, essentially, can't prove false decl?)
KA: Some countries have no age limit. How was 16 settled on?

SR: This is significant. Age of legal capacity was important comparator. Also evidence of young trans people who wanted documents aligned.
RH: Why wasn't 15th March meeting minuted? Why was first meeting day after close of call for views with thousands of responses to go through? Regina Doherty says two men identified as men after being charged.

Convener says first was committee decision.
SR: prisons - detailed evidence from SPS. Our service is for SPS and they are making decisions on how to manage trans prisoners on basis of risk. (Lucy HB's face is a picture)
RH: it would useful to have sight of the SPS risk assessment. Ireland hasn't been able to turn back anyone with a GRC.

SR: whether they have GRC is not the issue. SPS is clear.

RH: Do you think GRC change sex for S11 of EA?

SR: prisoners have already done that thro process.
RH: How many is it?

SR: 16

(but how many have a GRC?)
RH: What about time to process 10800 responses.

SR: we know what the issues are and don't think they changed.

(Is @ShonaRobison saying the call for evidence was for form only?)
Break until 11.40
Back on.
Fulton MacGregor: asking about 3 months. Why was that time frame determined? Could it be removed?

SR: They affirm they are living in acquired gender.

(what is an acquired gender @ShonaRobison? Other than sexist stereotypes?)
FM: saying there was consensus that it wasn't needed.

(that wasn't really what we said @fultonsnp)

PHJ: would be wary of calling this a consensus. (so would we!)
FM: asking about use of language around acquired gender.

SR: understands concerns but it is used in 2004 to legally change gender (it changes legal sex). Fits into existing legislation. Guidance will use respectful and inclusive language.
RH: if we are to reform and make legislation better, should there be a definition.

SR: it means living daily life in a gender different to your gender at birth (so that's all clear). It's not about dressing or looking, it's about demonstrating to others.
RH: examples?

SR: Titles, pronouns, driving licence, utility bills, name (although not needed), being called pronouns by others.

RH: but no evidence of those docs is needed?

PHJ: there could be challenge in courts from person with genuine interest.
*SR has said that NRS can do a document search. Surely this isn't in the the Bill. The challenge in the courts is different.
FM now on 3 month reflection period and suggesting that should be removed too... Altho may be that under 18 period should be extended.

SR: consistency and fairness it should be the same.
FM: do you issues with gender "tourism" for "ordinarily resident in Scotland.

SR: [offers no definition of ordinarily resident]
RH: why has EHRC said there are implications for divergence on cross boarder issues?

SR: they changed position. Corresponded to understand their concerns as have SHRC. (basically saying they don't know what they mean)

PHJ: don't understand how GRA impacts the EA
[If the minister and the senior civil service don't understand how two pieces of law interact, they should probably find out]

SR: we've written and we don't understand. Rights are in EA 2010 and that would have to be changed.
RH: Data gathering is important. Do you agree with Chief statistician that data on bio sex should only be collected in limited areas.

SR: up to courts, police to record crime (I don't think you were asked this). It's small numbers, no stat impact.
PHJ: Senator D was clear that it had little impact, her concern was that it wasn't accurate (TBF, that is quite worrying, Peter!)

RH: gender pay gap?

SR: numbers are small (how do you know??!!!)
RH: have SG done work on analysis on impact on women. Or numbers accessing clinics?

SR: Not to do with getting GRC. No impact in any other country. Also very small numbers.
KA: witnesses expressed upset that non-binary isn't in the Bill. Is there possibility of recognition?

SR: complex with interaction with reserved law. considering recommendations of working group on NB
PDG: What could gov do ensure people are called for appropriate health services?

SR: we'd want to talk to health colleagues.

PHJ: operational for NHS. Should have systems to cope already in place.
PDG: Are the exemptions to S22 and would you set out others?

SR: clear it has no impact on EA (you were asked about s22 of GRA!). There are complexities now.

(not sure any of them understand section 22 at all)
PDG: would GRC be considered more of a passport as it has in RUK?

SR: it's on SPS guidance. Can't comment on other jurisdiction. (Might have been useful to look at MoJ ruling? Legal challenge could overthrow SPS policy)
Maggie Chapman: Any concern about overseas GRC and could employers obtain information under s22?

SR: In theory confirmatory ones shouldn't be needed.

Colin Gilchrist: no substantive change to S22 (yes, this is the PROBLEM!)
MC: can you see circumstance where info was not disclosed.

SR: criminality would be disclosed. (we know, but we need SEX disclosed).

PHJ: open to conversations but this Bill is about process of getting GRC not the impact (oh good).
PG: Could you have done more to reassure people?

SR: I've tried to speak about what this Bill does not do. It has no impact on EA and I wouldn't want it to. Difficult to have convo on social media. It's a polarised discussion.
Hope concerns will be allayed when it passes. Concerns haven't come to fruition in other countries.

PG: asked Senator D about concerns about data collection and she said there were gaps.

SR: her concerns were in relation to census.

PHJ: she was talking about census and lived experience of trans people. Refers to Dr Guyan (what, the theatre studies researcher?)
PG: asks about gender pay gap.

SR: only small numbers. Engender and close the gap aren't worried.
RH: Heard about self exclusion of women from ethnic minorities from shopping centres changing.

SR: SHRC say no evidence from other countries of self-exclusion. Don't need GRC for changing rooms. More private space in changing rooms.
[SR misses that as long as there is alternative provision, trans people CAN be excluded from changing rooms]
RH: People with concerns are frightened to speak up. There has to be recognition of the fears.

SR: the Bill doesn't change things.

RH: wonder if EA is meeting the levels needed to stop people being excluded.

SR: [talking about trans people who feel excluded]
RH: criminal offence of statutory decl. Would it affect detransitioners.

SR: not if it was what they wanted to do at the time. You can change your mind in a year if it was the honest view.
Meeting ends

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More from @ForWomenScot

Jun 23
Those of us who watched the session yesterday were dumbfounded by the blithe acknowledgement of incompetence by the Irish senator who championed self ID. Report with choice quotes./
"She said there was no system in place for ensuring people who officially changed their gender in Ireland were still called for potentially life-saving medical checks, such as breast screening or prostate exams, & revealed she was “embarrassed” by deficiencies in data collection"
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Jun 22
Committee is hearing evidence from Senator Regina Doherty on GRA reform.

Worth remembering Ireland did not consider the rights of women in designing the legislation, but then, the State continue to evade responsibility for these horrors which were inflicted on women and children right up to the latter years of C20th…
Apparently, Ireland didn't have divisive debates in 2015 but it is growing now. Probably because no one knew what was happening in 2015!
Read 38 tweets
Jun 22
Is a barrister (who works in Scotland) really not accepting the decision of the highest court in the country?

Here Robin White admits that our JR ruling states sex is biological but Robin in supplementary evidence to @SP_EHRCJ, apparently, knows better./…
White also says the definition of GR in S7 EA2010 is ‘physiological or other aspects of sex’.

A Barrister should know this is a rather partial reading and biased reading of the Act (to say the least!) and is not a definition of sex./
If the committee believe White, however, they should be aware they are supporting these positions:

- Sex is determined by stereotypes (hair, pronouns, clothing) .

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Read 4 tweets
Jun 21
Anyone giving evidence to the effect that Malta has "high standards for human rights" needs to be laughed out of the room.
This is what happens to women in Malta @JoeFitzSNP

Will you take the word of these witnesses on international human rights, or are you going to get in experts who actually register what happens there?…
"The openly pro-choice regularly receive death threats in Malta; they are murderers and butchers and baby-killers, and should be lined up and shot. Those who have had abortions are sluts who should learn to “keep their legs closed”"
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You can watch the next session shortly. @ProfAliceS will be up first.

Otherwise, the selection of witnesses shows the usual appalling bias, including Robin White who submitted late, childish "evidence".
Opening statements from Prof Sullivan focused on data, collection, and the impact on populations.

Robin White said the process would make them feel demeaned.
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Alice keeps it on the importance for medicine on recording sex and how it makes it impossible to monitor outcomes and challenges.
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May 28
This interview with @NicolaSturgeon deserves some attention as it shows the extent to which the FM is in denial about popular opinion and the issues of her pet project.
#No2selfID #WomenWontWheesht

Sturgeon’s claim that this is a minority concern is not borne out by all the polling on the subject which shows that while people will concur if asked general questions about supporting trans rights, they baulk when specifics are introduced.
Her characterisation of opposition as a “vocal minority” is dismissive, but she goes further, saying some “weaponise this...for reason of transphobia.” When Ministers or Ms Sturgeon are challenged to provide evidence of this or explain who they mean, they hide behind vagaries.
Read 22 tweets

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