Changing gender to get cheaper but ‘self‑identify’ scheme is off The Sunday Times 20.09.20

The original article is here.

Plans to allow people to “self-identify” as a different gender will be formally dropped by the government this week.

Ministers have decided against the proposals, which were developed under Theresa May’s government, to allow transgender people to change their birth certificates without a medical diagnosis. Instead, they plan to reduce the cost of making such a change.

At present, those wanting to change must pay £140 and apply to a panel for a gender recognition certificate. They also have to produce two reports that they have suffered from gender dysphoria — usually from their GP and another doctor or psychologist.

Applicants also have to show they have lived in their chosen gender for two years and intend to do so for the rest of their lives.

The process is seen by trans-rights campaigners as dehumanising, bureaucratic and expensive.

Liz Truss, the equalities minister, will publish the government’s new stance in a response to a consultation on changing the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. The fate of the law has been uncertain since October 2018 amid controversy about the plans.

A government source said: “We think that the current legislation, which supports people’s rights to change their sex, is sufficient.”

Polls suggest voters are sympathetic to trans rights but do not support transgender women with male anatomy having access to female-only facilities such as prisons and changing rooms.

More than 100,000 responses were received to the consultation. Insiders say 70% backed the idea that anyone should be allowed to self-identify. However, officials believe the results were skewed by responses generated by trans rights groups.