THE Scottish Government’s decision to take the UK Government to court over its blocking of gender reform legislation has been welcomed by LGBT+ organisations.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announced on Wednesday that a petition for a judicial review of Scottish Secretary Alister Jack’s decision to block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill will be lodged.

The bill, which was passed by over two-thirds of MSPs in December, seeks to make the process of legally changing gender easier and faster by removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and shortening the amount of time an adult has to live in their acquired gender before applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Vic Valentine, the manager of Scottish Trans – the transgender equality project of the Equality Network charity – said the UK Government’s decision to prevent the bill from becoming law was “unacceptable”.

They said: “The bill as passed would introduce a simpler and fairer way for trans men and women to be legally recognised as who they truly are, allowing them to live with the dignity we all deserve.

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“It was passed by the Scottish Parliament by 86 votes to 39, with the overwhelming support of the SNP, Labour, the Greens and the LibDems. That followed years of consultation, and lengthy Parliamentary consideration and debate.

“The bill covers matters that are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and its consequences were considered by MSPs in great detail.

“For the UK Government to seek to block the Scottish democratic process in this way, simply because they disagree with the welcome decision the Scottish Parliament has made to improve trans people’s lives, is unacceptable.

“Other countries all over the world have introduced similar laws, with the only impact being a positive one – on the tiny number of trans people who need legal recognition of how we live our lives, as everyone is entitled to under international human rights law.”

Ryan McNaughton, the co-convener of Rainbow Greens – the LGBT+ wing of the Scottish Greens – said that the UK Government were using transgender people as “cannon fodder” in the culture war.

“The Section 35 order from the UK Government, is a clear attempt at muting democracy and the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament.

“Worse, however, is the use of the transgender community as cannon fodder in an attempt to stoke a dangerous and hate-filled culture war.

“We are very happy with the announcement today from the Scottish Government. We support the Scottish Government fully in this historic and incredibly important decision.

“The coming weeks and months are likely to be incredibly trying and difficult times for our trans siblings, and we must do all we can to support each other.”

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LGBT+ rights charity Stonewall also welcomed the decision with a wish that the legal process happens “swiftly”.

A statement read: “The UK Government’s decision to block Scotland’s Gender Recognition Bill was an unprecedented move and made clear that they see trans people as a threat to be contained rather than people to be treated with dignity and respect.

“We hope that the legal process concludes swiftly, and that governments of the UK focus their attention on positive strategies that support LGBTQ+ communities to thrive.”