by Joan Smith
Tuesday, 13
December 2022
Reaction
17:00

Sex not limited to biological sex, Scottish court rules

The decision has profoundly troubling consequences for women
by Joan Smith
For Women Scotland protestors demonstrate outside Holyrood last year. Credit: Getty.

What is a woman? Many people have trouble answering that question, apparently, but now we have guidance from a Scottish court. Jaw-dropping guidance, to be fair, but here it is: “Sex is not limited to biological or birth sex,” according to one of the country’s most senior judges.

Yes, you did read that right. We are plunging ever deeper into la-la land, where sex is no longer determined by boring old things like biology or physical characteristics. It can be changed by a piece of paper, known as a gender recognition certificate (GRC), with unpredictable consequences for women-only services such as the new sexual violence service set up by JK Rowling in Edinburgh.


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Lady Haldane’s judgment is the latest round in a case brought by For Women Scotland, who are challenging 2018 legislation introducing quotas for public boards, which allowed trans women to be counted as female. They won at an earlier stage and this latest decision will almost certainly be appealed. No doubt the judge, Lady Haldane, would say she is simply interpreting the law as it stands, and in that sense her ruling has done us a favour.

Back in 2004, MPs at Westminster passed a dreadful piece of legislation, the Gender Recognition Act. It was supposed to allow a limited number of individuals with gender dysphoria to change their legal sex, with supporters claiming it would affect around 5,000 people. At the time, doubts about the wisdom of allowing individuals to obtain a piece of paper that effectively lied about their sex were dismissed.

Now we can see the unintended consequences of demanding that everyone must believe the fiction that human beings can change sex. The ruling compounds pre-existing confusion, in that it may still be legal for a women-only refuge in Scotland to turn away trans women, using the exemption in the 2010 Equality Act — but at the risk of facing an expensive legal action. Lady Haldane explicitly rejected the argument that “the only way the 2010 Act…can be made to work is if the definition of woman in that Act is taken to mean biological sex”. For the purposes of her ruling, in other words, it includes men with the right paperwork.

The decision explodes the argument by Nicola Sturgeon’s government that its proposed changes to the 2004 Act, scheduled to be rushed through the Scottish Parliament next week, are merely administrative. By the end of this year, according to the current plan, anyone in Scotland will be able to acquire a GRC with next to no safeguards; they won’t even need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, while measures to exclude convicted sex offenders have been rejected.

Critics of the proposals have argued from the start that the Scottish government is playing down the likely impact on women. “From today, it must stop the absurd pretence that a GRC is only a bit of paper with no consequences for anyone else,” said a statement today from Scottish women’s organisation MurrayBlackburnMackenzie.

This latest decision shows how close we are to the word ‘woman’ becoming a mixed category in Scotland. It’s the logical end point of bad legislation, pushed way beyond its original intention by gender extremists. The UK government urgently needs to amend the Equality Act to add the word ‘biological’ to its definition of woman — and a campaign to repeal the Gender Recognition Act is surely long overdue.

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Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
1 month ago

I can understand the push-back by women who feel threatened that they will lose their political and social gains. I wonder, however, why more people don’t argue against this fantasy on the broader ground that when we submit to extremists redefining language, then almost any political or social sleight-of-hand is possible merely through definition. What if this whole debate is merely a side-show or test-case for a technique to be more widely applied?

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

You do wonder if they push absurd ideas just to see how far they can go. If the trans debate is any example – they can pretty much get people to agree with anything they say. We yearn for the magical beliefs that organized religion used to provide.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

They can pretty much get certain people to agree with anything. Sadly, these are people in strategic positions.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Presto.

Christina Dalcher
Christina Dalcher
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

I’ve been singing that song for ages now, Erik. This is far more than a woman-issue (although, of course, it is very much that). My fear is that the linguistic gymnastics of the trans-rights ‘movement’ are an erasure of post-enlightenment rationalism. If sex can be changed with words (it can’t, by the way), then species can be changed, race can be changed, age can be changed, and so on. Hell, simple mathematics can be changed. Truth is no longer ‘the truth,’ but ‘my truth,’ ‘your truth,’ ‘her truth.’ Oh, and A = B.

Clive MacDonald
Clive MacDonald
1 month ago

It’s a *fulfilment* of post-enlightenment rationalism, which is godless, anchorless and rootless.

Last edited 1 month ago by Clive MacDonald
Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
1 month ago

You’re quite correct. Definition should be used to express ideas, not impose fantasies.

Last edited 1 month ago by Erik Hildinger
Huw Parker
Huw Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

What would be a ‘more widely applied’ action than one that denies the sex of half the population of the planet?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Huw Parker

Presumably all people since trans men must surely be men!

Last edited 1 month ago by Martin Smith
Martin Smith
Martin Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

We have seen with all social liberalisation so far around the world that the ‘thin end of the wedge’ is not merely a self-justificatory reactionary fiction: homosexual rights did not involve ‘marriage’ yet now we have it; abortion did not involve its use as emergency birth control or infanticide, yet now we have it; euthanasia did not involve people with non-fatal conditions yet now we have it, and so on. This is not a justification for illiberal repression but a warning against the consequences of legal activism.

Last edited 1 month ago by Martin Smith
Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

The “slippery slope” is often taught as a fallacy, yet it’s a good description of what happens in the world.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

“abortion did not involve its use as emergency birth control or infanticide, yet now we have it; ”

Why do you have to resort to a lie? Abortion is not being used as infanticide.

Claire Dunnage
Claire Dunnage
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Kaye

He slipped that one in there.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs
1 month ago
Reply to  Claire Dunnage

In the Australian state of Victoria, around 300 late term aborted children who are born alive are allowed to die each year. That amounts to infanticide IMO.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

I don’t want to defend the issue of judges sometimes too wildly (wildly?) interpreting legislation. However they are not mainly to blame here, but hapless posturing politicians, with their utter determination to get legislation on the books on their watch to ‘do something’ ARE. They usually show a naive and stubborn refusal to entertain well-founded and reasonable objections which were argued AT THE TIME . This includes Conservative politicians in recent years, such as Theresa May. The Modern Slavery Act – see how that is now being (ab-) used by loads of illegal immigrants!

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew Fisher
jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

Well seems to me that it’s already happening,this defining yourself as something you’re obviously not. Sorry to drag in another current story but now we’ve heard so often that Meghan Hewitt is a black woman that I’ve suggested elsewhere that they remake Gone With The Wind and she can play Mammy. Only I don’t think she’d win an Oscar like Hattie McDaniels did. There are very sinister aims to this continual drip-drip-drip of acceptance. Tolerate this and we’re coming for your children.
And they are.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

Eh? You haven’t noticed it happening already with the BLM and critical race theory defining white people today as all having white privilege and being guilty of slavery?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago

It’s strange how transgender ideology seems to be being pushed on to us by women. Almost every man I’ve spoken to thinks this is all rather stupid regardless of education level, yet I come across highly educated women who believe that their sex is fluid. Do they think that a man who dons women’s apparel is likely to adopt more feminized traits i.e. be less prone to violence and sexual harassment? If so, they are making a huge error in judgment. Many women grossly underestimate the lengths some men will go to to obtain sexual pleasure.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Several authors on UnHerd have blamed it all on men and the patriarchy. However I agree with you that straight men outside of the activist class couldn’t care less about this. If you think about it – it mostly doesn’t impact us unless we have kids. I think women generally value getting along and going with the group – which has made them more likely to accept social justice nonsense.

Kirk Hauenstein
Kirk Hauenstein
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It’s partly driven by repulsion of anything perceived as conservative. Which was a sentiment amplified after Trump, conveniently, at the same this movement took off. And in the US at least, any mention of women’s sex-based rights has been branded conservative by ALL of the legacy media. If you don’t support the motto “trans women are women“ you are a backward transphobe. End of story.

To that end they also feel compelled to lie as a means to give minority communities more social traction. One analysis I read of the current explosion in lgbtq adherents found a majority of them could be chalked up to women reporting bisexuality, but rarely if ever actually engaging in it – artificially inflating the numbers. Why wouldn’t they also pretend a few men are women for this community? Anything that deconstructs traditional social norms is progress.

It’s also brought to us by blank slate feminists aiming to dissociate identity from biology altogether. Turns out they kind of hate evolution and the potential for anything like maternal instinct existing. “Smashing the binary“ is the actual goal. This is the entire reason gender as a concept separate from sex was introduced in the first place. We already had the term transsexual, and it was perfectly fine. I think the strategy is if the sex binary is eliminated, no one will be able to level biologically essentialist arguments against them ever again.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago

The “blank slate” feminism really lent into gender for the location of ‘sex roles’ – the roles are not partially located in sex differences, they are instead socially constructed. It was not a repudiation of sex I think, but a repudiation that sex had any meaningful points of contact with what roles men and women engaged in. It was social construction all the way down.
James Lindsay pointed out that because feminists still clung to sex, as in male and female, qu–r marxists on the other hand took and applied the social construction idea to everything. Hence the feminists were lined up against the ideological wall and shot – that is, clinging to sex is binary was swept away by social construction to the point you have males competing in female sports etc.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I see that women, in general, are more tolerant of trans and gay including lesbians. Men in many cases can’t deal well with gay or trans in their fear of themselves with historic stigmas The men that see themselves femme push themselves into female spaces. The true trans seems to wish to be accepted as they appear but rarely push themselves on anybody. At the moment many trans have adopted some sort of special equal rights mantra and are forcing society to agree..

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

But what does ‘true trans’ mean? You either buy into the doctrine that some people are ‘born in the wrong body’ or you don’t. You can’t pick and choose, because these are two fundamentally different and mutually exclusive ways of understanding the world. If you reject the doctrine that people can self-identify their sex, then there is no ‘true trans’. And if you accept it, then ALL trans is ‘true trans’.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Huw Parker

I heard a man on the radio being interviewed and he said being trans(he claimed to be) wasn’t about wanting to BE the other sex or gender or whatever,it didn’t mean you were homosexual,not turned on by women or only desired sexual activity with men(which is how gay rights was originally pitched to us),and it wasn’t being in drag either. You didn’t have to wear a dress and make up. Just BEING trans is a THING. I’m totally confused and so was the interviewer. Or I would be confused if I tried to think about it. BUT it sort of means that a MAN with all working man parts and a sexual interest in woman in and wearing indubitably male attire could claim access to a woman’s group of some sort and on being turned away make a legal claim on the grounds of being trans + discriminated against
Discrimination is a good word,it means rejecting dross and only associating with the best.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

This is the essential truth about gender identity ideology. It’s like an onion. You strip away layer after layer of obfuscation to find find there’s absolutely nothing in the middle, and everybody’s in tears.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It’s why we have women ‘firemen’ – couldn’t lift a fat middle aged bloke like me from a burning building, but it meets equality targets.

David Farman
David Farman
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Thank goodness that is not all there is to a firefighter’s job description. Next time a female firefighter turns up to rescue you from a car wreck or from the freezing waters beneath broken ice, you may hesitate to decline her assistance and await the arrival of someone of a sex you deem more appropriate to rescuing a “fat, middle-aged bloke” in need of “lifting”. Personally, I’d hand you a leaflet on weight management and move on in search of higher priority victims.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

What Lady Haldane’s judgement sets out is the uncontentious statement that Parliament can define a woman in whatever way it chooses just as it could define a dog as including a cat whose owner had obtained a “dog recognition certificate”. In this case it legislated to define a man who had obtained a gender reassignment certificate as a woman for all purposes. All purposes includes all the special provisions enacted for the protection of women.

While the legislation was used by the relatively small number of men who had undergone surgery to make themselves superficially similar to women it did not creat too much contention, but as soon as intact men took advantage of it in practice and Nicola Sturgeon intended to legislate to ensure a gender reassignment certificate could be easily obtained by intact men the absurdity and practical difficulties thrown up by this legal fiction became manifest. Unfortunately many women and men in thrall to trans ideology refuse to accept the distopic nature of this legal fiction.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I exect Scottish women to win a lot of sporting competitions and break world records. Rapper @Zuby went gender fluid a few years ago and shattered world feminine records in weightligting.

H Owen
H Owen
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Being a man is not confined to having an intact p***s. Being intact, as you put it, is not the issue imv.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago
Reply to  H Owen

Indeed, a eunuch does not cease to be a man, but someone who has taken steps to transform himself physically into a simulacrum of a woman is likely to be regarded differently to bloke in a frock and lipstick who claims to be a woman by large sections of the public. It is particularly the latter that provokes the ire of many women when he wants to compete as a woman and enter spaces set aside for women’s exclusive use.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

In law, Parliament cannot define a dog as including a cat. In Regina v. Secretary of State for Health ex parte Quintavalle Lord Bingham held as follows. “If Parliament, however long ago, passed an Act applicable to dogs, it could not properly be interpreted to apply to cats; but it could properly be held to apply to animals which were not regarded as dogs when the Act was passed but are so regarded now.”
In the same way, it makes no sense for Parliament to redefine the concepts ‘woman’ and ‘man’ by arguing that ‘woman’ is now to be regarded as including certain men, or that ‘man’ is to be regarded as including certain women.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

An excellent quote, but I think in this instance Parliament has effectively redefined women to include men with the redefining certificate. Whether it makes sense is an entirely different question to which I would certainly agree that it does not.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Thanks. It is true that statute trumps the common law, and Parliament is free to make or unmake any law as it sees fit. However, any Parliament which even unwittingly overrules the words of Lord Bingham is setting traps for itself and society at large. In any event, I submit that Lady Haldane’s reading is entirely wrong. What a GRC says is that Fred, for his own purposes, can regard himself as female if he sees fit. It does not say that where Parliament has elsewhere decided that the proportion of women in particular governing institutions is to be increased, such increase is achieved by claiming that Fred, with his complete male genitalia, can be appointed to some board to redress an imbalance between the sexes. Such appointment is irrational, and self-evidently does not achieve the desired parity in representation of the sexes. To take the process to its logical conclusion , institutions would be free to appoint solely men and men who regard themselves as women. That would mean that there were no women at all, which is directly contrary to legislation which mandates parity.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 month ago

Andrew what you are saying can’t happen has happened in Scotland. And in other countries. The judge in this case has read the law correctly. As absurd as it is.

Offline I meet people who are pro trans but also don’t think that (biological) men should play women’s rugby, or get into a woman’s prison, or provide intimate care in hospital and it’s infuriating to point out that if in law you make a man a woman in law then there’s no stopping that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Franz Von Peppercorn
Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 month ago

The Gender Recognition Act explicitly allows sports authorities to restrict participation so as to exclude people competing in an acquired gender, so yes, you can in law make a man a woman without there being no stopping that.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 month ago

“What a GRC says is that Fred, for his own purposes, can regard himself as female if he sees fit. It does not say that where Parliament has elsewhere decided that …”

That’s exactly what it does say:
“Where a full gender recognition certificate is issued to a person, the person’s gender becomes for all purposes the acquired gender.”

That is subject to a caveat “(3)Subsection (1) is subject to provision made by this Act or any other enactment or any subordinate legislation.”

What this means is that where a person has a GRC their sex in law is that on the GRC, except where legislation expressly provides otherwise.

So to use your example, if Parliament had passed a law saying boards must be 40% female, someone who was born male but had gone through the legal process of gender recognition, would count towards that 40%, UNLESS that law explicitly said that for the purposes of the Act female referred to natal sex.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 month ago

You’ve misinterpreted that case. Bingham was saying that the courts could not interpret “dogs” to include “cats” through their inherent interpretative role.

If, however, Parliament itself said “dogs includes cats” they absolutely would follow that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert Kaye
David Farman
David Farman
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

My inclination is to dismiss this judgment as a load of bollox; bizarrely, however, gonads appear to be less relevant than paperwork to the determination of sex nowadays.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 month ago

I am really not sure this is a bad day.
If the judge interpreted the law as it stands she (assuming she is a she) did us a favour because it really exposed what the SG is going to do for what it is.
The problem is at source and that’s where it needs to be addressed.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 month ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

It won’t be addressed until a Scottish Government is in place with a majority and will to rescind this. Given that Scottish Labour are buying into these ideas, it will be a long time coming. As for those SNP voters who now complain about being politically homeless, they need to think about what and who they have voted for in successive UK and Scottish elections.

Last edited 1 month ago by Al M
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 month ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Hadrian obviously knew something we didn’t.

Julia H
Julia H
1 month ago

The GRA is the source of this spiralling problem. I can scarcely believe that elected representatives of the people in this country thought that it was appropriate or acceptable to enshrine in law a very blatant and obvious lie. It is impossible to change sex. It has never been done and no lawmaker whether individual or collective should have the authority to turn a lie into law.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 month ago
Reply to  Julia H

We just change the definition of sex, then it becomes very easy to achieve it.
Politicians have been doing this for years; employment, inflation, GDP. It looks like lawmakers have finally got in on the act.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Julia H

Is Haldane overturning the legal definition of sex as biological? Or is she merely extending its usage to include the Legal Fiction sense?
It seems her ruling is within the context of 2004 Gender Recognition Act; “I conclude that in this context, which is the meaning of sex for the purposes of the 2010 Equality Act, sex’ is not limited to biological or birth sex, but includes those in possession of a Gender Recognition certificate obtained in accordance with the 2004 Gender Recognition Act stating their acquired gender, and thus their sex.
“Such a conclusion does not offend against, or give rise to any conflict with, legislation where it is clear that “sex” means biological sex. That does not give rise to the inevitable conclusion, as was urged upon me, that ‘sex’ in the present context must mean the same thing as it does in others.”
So this is merely restating that holding a GRC means in law GRC holders are viewed as having changed sex but not having done so in fact.
So the usage of ‘sex’ in law involves a sense of mutability. This is to do with the purpose of the Legal Fiction to allow certain people to access procedures circumscribed in law, such as it was for marriage.
Now, the SG has removed the gated aspect of acquiring a GRC so that certain individuals may access areas in society that are gated in law according to sex.

H Owen
H Owen
1 month ago

That seems to be it. “The usage of ‘sex’ in law involves a sense of mutability” seems very well put.

H Owen
H Owen
1 month ago

“So this is merely restating that holding a GRC means in law GRC holders are viewed as having changed sex but not having done so in fact.” I agree with the first part of the sentence. However, I don’t think the law has made it its purpose to say that the change didn’t happen in “fact” (by “fact” you presumably mean a change of biological sex)? The law hasn’t got into that question at all, it seems to me. And it probably doesn’t need to.

Last edited 1 month ago by H Owen
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago
Reply to  H Owen

I was paraphrasing Prof Rosa Freedman from a submission she gave to a hearing about a Scottish Bill.
The change is via the creation of a Legal Fiction. It is a fiction because they have not done so ‘in fact’. As I understand it from Freedman, the law regards sex as biology. In biology, mammalian sex is immutable.
Freedman has this to say; … a Gender Recognition Certificate that allows them to change the sex on their birth certificate. This creates what is known as a ‘legal fiction’ in that a person will be treated in law as something that they are not in reality (i.e. they will be treated as a member of the sex that is not their biological sex).
In fact, is referring to reality that is constituted of brute facts of which truth statements are arrived at through empirical methods.
Here is a link to Freedman’s submission. I have found it to be the clearest, succinct explanation so far.
https://archive2021.parliament.scot/S5_European/Inquiries/CTEEA_CensusBill_ProfFreedmanRosa_CTEEA_S5_18_CB_24.pdf

Last edited 1 month ago by michael stanwick
Patrick Butler
Patrick Butler
1 month ago

Thank you for this reference to Professor Freedman’s clear testimony. We have been making her point independently that legal sex is currently being changed by various laws. We concluded in several short memos posted at https://www.equality4women.org/sex-change-law that all legal-sex-change laws and regulations should be abolished by voters through a simple referendum: “Yes or no, should anyone—individual, legislature, or court—be allowed by law to change anyone’s legal sex?”

H Owen
H Owen
1 month ago

Thank you. This judgement seems to suggest that the law precisely does not regard “sex” as meaning “biology”. Rather, as you seemed to say earlier, (the meaning of) “sex” is mutable, in law.

Last edited 1 month ago by H Owen
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago
Reply to  H Owen

In this case yes.
In the Freedman link I provided, there is another link to a commentary by Julian Norman. And that was in 2018!
He says this; If there are two ways to become female for the purposes of s.212(1) EqA – and therefore to meet the criteria for single sex provision – biological and legal, and it is proposed to amend the GRA to open up the legal route to many thousands more people with no oversight beyond a statutory declaration, then it is axiomatic that amendment of the GRA will have an enormous effect on the EqA. The effect would be to open up the legal status of “female” gender by way of s.9(1) GRA, and therefore “woman” for the purpose of s.212(1) EqA, to include anyone who signs a statutory declaration.
It seems to me that the latest ruling has allowed exactly this. And further, through the equality act, the exemptions for single sex spaces etc are removed. That is my understanding.
https://www.filia.org.uk/latest-news/2018/8/23/has-everyone-really-got-it-wrong

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago

You’ve got to wonder whether someone – a practicing lawyer – coming up with such dangerous and incorrect nonsense 50 or 100 years ago wouldn’t have been sectioned … or struck off …

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes, this is a direct result of a political system grown bloated and corrupt.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

As I understand it, they were trying to square a circle and fell back on the concept of a Legal Fiction.
And in reality, a GRC is applicable within the domain of law – where access and privileges have legal gateways.
What is dangerous is removing the gateway safeguards so that all and sundry might be able to access certain legal sex based provisions that were not open to them previously.

Justin S
Justin S
1 month ago

There is an easy answer to this issue.

Repeal the Gender Recognition Act.

This poor and misguided piece of legislation has unleashed huge personal and societal damage.

We should do as we have done with other issues and decide that it was a mistake and just cancel that legislation.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 month ago

I don’t know what the problem is ?
Surely Nicola is just taking Margret Thatchers old quote “Every PM needs their Willie” to it’s logical conclusion. It’s original meaning may have been lost in trans-lation though as Sturgeons interpretation certainly seems, somewhat, fishy.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
1 month ago

As George Orwell put it: ‘Freedom is the freedom to say 2 + 2 = 4. If that is granted, all else follows.’
Meanwhile in Scotland, the clocks are striking thirteen.

Justin S
Justin S
1 month ago

There is an answer to this madness.
Repeal the Gender Recognition Act, 2004.
This utterly daft piece of legislation has led us down the path of idiocy.
It has to go. Like changing our national mind on making drugs legal / illegal because we see the obvious and real damage done in society by legalising hard drugs – we now need to cancel the Gender Recognition Act – on the grounds of the Harm that it has done to individuals and to society in general.
For clarity: There are only two sexes in humans. Woman born with ovaries and cervix; Man born with solely male sex organs. Anything else is a sever mental delusion – a mental illness.

Last edited 1 month ago by [email protected]
R Wright
R Wright
1 month ago

The Scots have their own legal system. Let them suffer the consequences of it. If they want legislative change they’ll make their voice heard through the democratic process by punishing the SNP… or not, probably.

Russell Hogg
Russell Hogg
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

Their own legal system but we are one country. So what happens when someone moves south?

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 month ago
Reply to  Russell Hogg

They will have to reconsider their situation.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

On that note – what good would the British gov’t amending the equality act do if Scots law says anyone with a woman card is a woman? I’m not even trying to make a point, this seems to me the most interesting aspect of the whole thing.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

Let them suffer the consequences of it.

But it won’t be ‘The Scots’ as a whole who suffer the consequences. It will be specific groups, predominantly female, and often among the most vulnerable in society. Women in sport, women seeking refuge from abusive males, women in prison, females who use public toilets and changing rooms, teenage girls being pressured to subscribe to gender identity dogma, autistic kids struggling with their sense of identity. Are you really happy to throw them all under the bus of ‘teaching Scotland a lesson’?

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

The Scots have their own legal system, but the Supreme Court has the final say in civil, as opposed to criminal, cases.

Rob Baldock
Rob Baldock
1 month ago

In honesty if the Scots are supporting devolution, led by a mad obsessive, along with this ridiculous judgement, then UK should let them go their own way. However UK taxpayers must no longer pay ANYTHING to Scotland.

Justin S
Justin S
1 month ago

Ah I have been moderated out…..
So Unheard are the Guardian now.

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
1 month ago

Why does this remind me of the Wizard of Oz and certificates telling the cowardly lion he was a hero, the tin man, he had a heart and the scarecrow that he had a brain?

I wish I had a certificate saying I was a millionaire, so I didn’t have to pay for anything but unfortunately things don’t work that way.

Benjamin Dyke
Benjamin Dyke
1 month ago

It’s complete madness. What I would concede to try and make a bridge between unreality and reality is that if your p***s has been removed you can obtain a GRC but not before.

Judy Keiner
Judy Keiner
1 month ago

This is a very worrying judgement for women’s rights in the UK.

Although it’s a ruling in the Scottish courts, it may well influence judges in the UK including the Supreme Court to take the same view.

It will also suit Nicola Sturgeon and the Labour, Lib Dem and Green Party to take this ruling as a green light to promote trans ideology as law.

However, the judge, Lady Haldane, in ruling the way she did because she said that it was open to the promoters of the Act to have put such a clear definition into the legislation, and they did not, does not seem to have taken into account the fact that the Equality Act 2010 did not go through the normal process of full Parliamentary scrutiny and revision.

It was passed into law without having gone through those processes in full when Parliament was dissolved for the 2010 General Election, part of the process known as the “washup” when a Parliament has to come to an end in order to clear the decks and end the tenure of the MPs before the election can take place.

A fair number of bills went through without scrutiny on that basis, not just the Equality Act.

I remember thinking at the time that it was a bill of most extraordinary scope and reach to be allowed to be put into law with so little scrutiny.

I hope the lawyers fighting for women’s sex rights are preparing for a challenge making use of this history.

Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 month ago
Reply to  Judy Keiner

“However, the judge, Lady Haldane, in ruling the way she did because she said that it was open to the promoters of the Act to have put such a clear definition into the legislation, and they did not, does not seem to have taken into account the fact that the Equality Act 2010 did not go through the normal process of full Parliamentary scrutiny and revision.”

Too bloody right. It’s not for the courts to go deciding whether Parliament scrutinised legislation before deciding whether to accept it – you really wouldn’t like the consequences of that.

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
1 month ago

Yes you have bodily sexual identity and the state of being more masculine or feminine. Everything else connected with this is what you do with what you have. People opening their mouths and making claims outside of this isn’t truth but hot air as in the Meghan and Harry fiasco.

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 month ago

Are they struggling to define a man?

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 month ago

Hardly surprising, seeing as the SNP have stuffed the Judiciary with their lackeys.

Black Mamba
Black Mamba
1 month ago

It’s not just Scotland pushing this. It seems to now be emanating from the UN and every NGO as well as every government with the possible exclusion of Russia.
And women are under attack, but no men are being affected, so no one really cares.
Military generals are suddenly trans and being handed jobs like Head of Public Health in the US, and no mainstream news media will report on men who identify as trans who commit terrible crimes, because we certainly can’t “invoke hate” by reporting actual facts.
It seems clear that there is something larger at stake. It feels like they want to undo women’s rights, gay rights (because this is all anti-homosexual as it negates sex and trans rights activists despise real gay rights activists) as well as by force of legislation demand people abandon their hardwiring to recognize obvious differences between men and women, which is something we developed over time to help us survive.
So, we are no longer allowed to employ our brains to make determinations. We must rely on the government to tell us what is true and ok, and not our own common sense and hardwiring.
Sounds exactly like something out of 1984.
We just never expected it to be pushed in this laughably creepy way, whilst simultaneously being used to sexualize children while they push drugs and sexual mutilation on them.
The fact that most liberals and progressives are either too brainwashed or too cowardly to speak up about this makes them worthy of sacrificing their own offspring to it, but not anyone else’s.
I mean, honestly, if it meant we could actually cut the d**k off every dude who says he is a woman I might personally cheer it on. But they don’t want to cut their dicks off, they want to take skins off real women and prance around in them like Buffalo Bill.
No thanks.
Oh, and as for trans “men,” also just yuck. No real lesbian wants that, and no gay man wants it, and as a het woman I can say between the mental health issues, the lack of an actual d**k, and the weird, stupid voices the meds give them, no one sees them as men. No one. Only pandering liars tell them they are really men.
Trans is trans and they can’t claim to be real men and women and then demand special rights.
As for anyone getting in trouble legally for speaking truth, when in rome, just identify as a roman. I cut my hair short so I will be a trans man if anyone gives me shit over saying trans men are women. Since there is no definition of trans and anyone can just say they are and magically it is so, it holds no weight.

Iris C
Iris C
1 month ago

It was always known that it was difficult to “sex” some babies at birth and I remember reading that the parents were sometimes asked to choose the sex. However to self-identify without having proof of this anomaly seems extraordinary to me. No doubt it was this conundrum that was being addressed in the 2004 Act..

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  Iris C

No matter how gender identity ideologues might rail against it, sex cannot be chosen. The parents to whom you refer did not choose their child’s sex, only how they might be socialised.
You are, I think, describing babies born with intersex conditions, or DSDs (Differences of Sex Development). Despite the rather misleading terminology, intersex people are, almost without exception, unambiguously either male or female. Most importantly, intersex is nothing to do with gender identity; indeed, many people with intersex conditions consider it extremely offensive when the two are conflated in the interests of attempting to legitimise gender identity ideology.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 month ago

Scots are weird. (There’s my thoughtful and insightful comment for the day.)