A PETITION calling on the UK Government to reverse its decision to block Scotland’s gender reforms from becoming law has smashed through its first milestone.

Over 12,000 people have so far signed the petition on the Westminster Parliament’s website, and therefore the UK Government will have to provide a response. If the topic gathers more than 100,000 signatures then the petition will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.

It comes the day after women’s and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch declined an invitation to give evidence at a Holyrood committee on the decision by the UK Government to use a Section 35 order.

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The order, laid by Scottish Secretary Alister Jack last week, stops the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from being given Royal Assent and will stop it from becoming law.

Jack also refused to give evidence at the Equalities and Human Rights Committee and said Badenoch would be the appropriate minister.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Tory ministers should have “the guts” to defend their decision in the Scottish Parliament and face MSPs, shortly before Badenoch announced she would not be attending.

The National: Badenoch was the second Tory minister to refuse to give evidence in the Scottish ParliamentBadenoch was the second Tory minister to refuse to give evidence in the Scottish Parliament (Image: PA)

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the FM said: “I take the view if you are going to outrageously and unacceptably ride roughshod through the democratically-elected Scottish Parliament and seek to overturn decisions that the democratically-elected Scottish Parliament has arrived at, then you should have the guts to turn up to the committee of the democratically-elected Scottish Parliament and set out your reasons for doing so and answer questions on that.”

And now, a petition is gathering steam calling on the UK Government to reverse the decision.

It reads: “I want the Government to reverse their decision to block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, as this legislation contains important provisions for the LGBT community in Scotland. We are a United Kingdom, and the UK Government should not block devolved legislation.”

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Residents across the UK signed the petition, a map attached to the webpage shows, with the most signatures in the surrounding areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh, but as far north as Caithness and in every Scottish constituency.

At the time of publication, there were 12,638 signatures on the petition. 

It has six months to reach the 100,000 milestone and will run until July 2023.