Question 6: (A) Do you think this requirement should be retained, regardless of what other changes are made to the gender recognition system?
A statutory declaration should be retained, because there are penalties for making a false declaration. It may therefore act as a deterrent for people who are tempted to make false declarations for frivolous or malicious purposes.
However, it is difficult to see how these penalties could ever be applied in the case of a declaration that someone intends to live in the acquired gender until death.
As stated earlier, I don’t believe that living “in a gender” is something that should be imposed on individuals by the law. Both the GRA and the Equality Act use the words “sex” and “gender” in muddled and confusing ways. I would like to see this clarified.
I think the statutory declaration should state that the person sincerely believes the reasons given in their application for a change of legal sex, that their application is not being made for an improper purpose, and that they meet all the conditions required for a change of legal sex (diagnosis of gender dysphoria, medical report, additional safeguards as outlined below).
There should be a process in place for people to rescind a GRC. There is a growing number of people who find that they need to detransition. These people should be able to revert to their original sex in law, if they have acquired a GRC.
(B) If you answered yes to (A), do you think that the statutory declaration should state that the applicant intends to ‘live permanently in the acquired gender until death’?
(C) If you answered no to (A), do you think there should be any other type of safeguard to show seriousness of intent?
I think additional safeguards are needed in addition to a statutory declaration. For the reasons given above, I do not think a statutory declaration alone is sufficient.
People who have been convicted of violent or sexual offences should not be eligible to obtain a GRC.
People who use their altered legal sex for improper purposes (for example to gain easier access to children in order to harm them, or to gain easier access to vulnerable women using single-sex services) should have their GRC rescinded and should not be eligible to reapply.