Scotland may become the first country in the United Kingdom to legally recognize a third gender.
According to The Scotsman, a majority of the 15,000 responses in a recent consultation backed by the Scottish government supported the creation of a legal third gender.
The majority was 65%. 56% of that majority supported the full legal recognition of non-binary people. Non-binary individuals are those who do not identify as exclusively male or female.
Another majority — two-thirds — responded that the legal age to change one’s gender should be lowered from 18 to 16.
They also expressed support for making this process easier. Most people suggested removing the requirements of medical evidence and living in one’s true gender for at least two years.
The Scottish government launched the consultation over a year ago, as part of the process to change the 2004 Gender Recognition Act.
So will it happen?
A spokeswoman for the government in response to these answers said: ‘We will consider this analysis and the views of consultees as we take forward our commitment to bring forward legislation on gender recognition.’
The consultation is not an indication of political or legislative action.
James Morton, manager of the Scottish Trans Alliance, acknowledged this but commented that ‘it is always great to see high levels of consultation support’.
He further added: ‘We also welcome that opponents of the reform have been able to freely share their views with the Government, as we believe that constructive dialogue and close scrutiny of legislation proposals is always helpful in ensuring there will be no unintended consequences.’
The debate over the Gender Recognition Act has stirred up passion on both sides.
Several places across the globe, including British Columbia and numerous states in the US, already legally recognize third genders.