Government U-turn on gender self-identification welcomed by campaign groups

(Photo: Pexels/Tim Mossholder)

News that Boris Johnson is planning to scrap changes to gender recognition laws has been welcomed by campaigners.

The Sunday Times reports that the details are contained in a leaked paper setting out the Government's response to a public consultation on the plans, which would make it easier for transgender people to change their legal gender by allowing them to self-identify. 

No 10 is also reported to be drawing up plans to protect female-only spaces.

"In terms of changing what is on your birth certificate, you will still need to have proper medical approval," a source was quoted by the paper as saying.

"And you're not going to be able to march in and find a hippie quack doctor who is willing to say you're a woman. That's not going to happen."

The source added: "There will be big moves on safe spaces and women-only toilets and and a total ban on 'gay cure' therapies."

Rev Lynda Rose, founder of Voice for Justice UK, said the Government's U-turn on gender self-identification would protect women.

"News that the Government has scrapped plans to allow people to self-identity as a different sex is welcome indeed," she said.

"The proposal not just encouraged people to make life-changing decisions without medical oversight, but we've already seen sexual attacks on women, in what up to now have been protected spaces, by male sexual predators seeking easy access to their victims.

"Allowing 'men' unregulated access to female 'spaces' displays a profound contempt towards biological women and is wrong. VfJUK is pleased that for the future people seeking to transition will need proper medical supervision."

Susan Mason, founder of the School Gate Campaign, which has been campaigning against the new RSE curriculum, also welcomed the Government's climbdown. 

"These sensible measures help support the campaign's aim to protect children," she said. 

However, she was critical of the plans to ban 'gay cure' therapies in a bid to appease LGBT groups, calling the move "inappropriate".

"It discriminates against those individuals, protected under the Equalities Act, who wish to change their sexual orientation. If the Government takes this action, it will be breaking the law," she said.