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UK LGBT law to get much-needed reforms

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UK LGBT law to get much-needed reforms

Fortunately for our cousins across the pond, the British government seems willing to make changes to their current UK LGBT law covering gender transition as well as the time duration for blood transfusion.

Women and Equalities Minister Justine Greening has expressed her intention to reform the 2004 Gender Recognition Act of UK to make the “less intrusive.”

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn had also pushed the Tories to make these changes for the benefit of the LGBT community.

Consultations for UK LGBT law

The UK government will begin consultations with the 1.5 LGBT people in Britain on the needed change of the 2004 gender law.

“We will build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them,” Greening said.

Presently, people who want to legal recognition for gender change need to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. They also have to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, issued by a judicial body called the Gender Recognition Panel.

Likewise, the person applying needs to show proof that they’ve been in transition for at least two years.

Current data notes that from January to March 2017, 112 applied for transition with 88 percent being granted the certificate.

Huge inequalities in UK LGBT law

With this declaration, LGBT groups were hopeful of reforms, given that this was a key priority for removing “huge inequalities” for transgenders.

“It’s vital that this reform removes the requirements for medical evidence and an intrusive interview panel, and finally allows all trans people to have their gender legally recognized through a simple administrative process,” said Suzanna Hopwood, a member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group.

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, added: “The 2004 act was ground-breaking in giving trans people a way to have their gender legally recognised, but the process is in dire need of reform. We need a simple process which isn’t medicalised, intrusive or demeaning.”

Of note as well that the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967 is coming up, where Parliament had voted for the partial decriminalization of homosexuality and allowed private homosexual acts among men over the age of 21 legal.

UK LGBT law to shorten blood transfusion wait

The UK government will also allow the time allowing gay men to donate blood after having sex with other men to be reduced from a year to three months to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV.

“Change to the blood donation rules are also welcome. However, while this is an important move, it’s vital that this is a stepping stone to a system that doesn’t automatically exclude most gay and bi men,” Hunt said.

Ethan Spibey, founder of campaign group FreedomToDonate, said this “marks a world-leading blood donation policy for gay and bisexual men and the other groups previously restricted.”

Corbyn wants better UK LGBT law

Meanwhile, Corbyn welcomed the move by the UK government to listen to the LGBT community, tweeting: “@UKLabour will support any law to improve rights of trans people.”

Earlier, the Labour leader had called for a review of the Gender Recognition Act at the PinkNews Summer Parliamentary reception.

Corbyn had supported calls by trans campaigners for a ‘self-declaration’ system to remove obstacles in gender transition. This system is already in operation in the Republic of Ireland.

“We must advance trans rights, and discrimination has gone on too long. Bring forward a Bill to update the Act and improve trans rights and Labour will back you,” Corbyn addressing the Prime Minister, told PinkNews.

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