The University of Stirling's Union. Image credit: Harry Williamson/Brig Newspaper

Stirling Union condemns UK block of Gender Recognition Reform Bill

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The University of Stirling Students’ Union has moved to support the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill that was blocked by the UK Government last week.

The Union signed the National Union of Students Scotland’s open letter to the government and urged student societies to do the same in support of trans and non-binary students.

The letter called the block “undemocratic and unjustifiable” and warned the proposal could ruin the UK’s reputation on LGBT+ rights.

The bill was passed on December 22 and is designed to make it easier for transgender people to acquire a gender recognition certificate by introducing a system of self-declaration rather than a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

It will also lower the minimum age to 16 and reduce the amount of time required for an applicant to live as their chosen gender.

The block has been branded as a “full-frontal attack” on the Scottish Parliament by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Union said: “Student unions have always been at the forefront of the fight for progress and the fight against discrimination.

“We condemn the government’s decision to block this bill and stand in solidarity with trans and non-binary students and people across the country.

“As Sabbatical Officers, we are proud to unite to fight this undemocratic and unjustifiable action to stop this bill.

“Our hope is that alongside the LGBTQ+ community and allies nationally and across the world, the students of Stirling come together to resist this injustice and discrimination.”

The decision was supported by the University of Stirling’s LGBTQ+ Society, who said: “The UK’s block is a disgusting act which really shows the persisting problem of transphobia still present in the country.

“The amount of support for such a block is frankly terrifying to us. The fact that people would support such a violation of trans people’s right to be themselves and dignity is incomprehensible.

“That being said we are glad to be part of a union that is supportive of its trans and non-binary students and are proud that they are supporting the NUS Scotland’s open letter.”

The Union had previously expressed disappointment after the University Chancellor spoke out against proposed reforms to the Act.

While the UK Government has suggested that the Scottish Government could bring back an amended bill for reconsideration, Nicola Sturgeon has said the case would “inevitably end up in court”.

Featured Image Credit: Harry Williamson/Brig Newspaper

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Editor-in-Chief of Brig Newspaper. Final year film, media and journalism student.

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