SCOTLAND, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A women’s rights group is considering legal action against a Scottish government guidance which recognizes gender-confused men as women.
For Women Scotland says that it’s considering seeking a judicial review, after the Scottish government released statutory guidance in June changing the definition of “woman” for the purposes of the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act 2018.
The statutory guidance states that men who are either planning to or have begun so-called “gender-reassignment” processes and who are “continuously living as a woman” will be considered women for the purposes of the Act.
“This would not require the person to dress, look or behave in any particular way,” the guidance says.
“However, it would be expected that there would be evidence that the person was continuously living as a woman, such as – always using female pronouns; using a female name on official documents such as a driving licence or passport, or on utility bills or bank accounts; using female titles; updating the gender marker to female on official documents such as a driving licence or passport; describing themselves and being described by others in written or other communication as a woman.”
The guidance also makes clear that a person “reassigning their sex from female to male would not be included in the definition of woman for the purposes of the Act.”
For Women Scotland, which says it believes that “women’s rights should be strengthened” and that “sex is immutable and is a protected characteristic” has released a legal opinion which says that the guidance “goes against the very grain of the Equality Act 2010 and decades of anti-discrimination law” and “is not compatible with EU law.”
“It beggars belief that the Scottish Government has introduced new legislation that contravenes the very essence of what a ‘woman’ is in law. This is just the introduction of self-identification of sex by the back door,” Marion Calder of For Women Scotland said.
Although the purpose of the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act 2018 is to ensure that 50 percent of non-executive board members of listed Scottish public authorities are women, the guidance states that “the Act does not require an appointing person to ask a candidate to prove that they meet the definition of woman in the Act.”
The guidance says that the “provision only relates to the meaning of ‘woman’ in the Act” and that it “does not have the effect of creating a new legal definition of woman in any other context.”
“We believe this Act raises significant concerns for the status of women in Scotland,” the For Women Scotland press release states.
“As a tool for increasing the representation of women, it is rendered ineffective and may be used as precedent to undermine legal protections for women in a manner which runs counter to UK and EU equality law.”