Fife MSP quits party post after Gender Bill opposition vote
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Claire Baker stood down as Labour’s spokesperson for drugs after voting against the Bill which will make it easier for transgender people to legally change their gender.
She said she accepted there would be consequences when she went against the party’s whip.
Carol Mochan. Labour’s spokesperson for mental health also resigned her portfolio after voting against.
Holyrood witnessed disruption from the public gallery before the vote which saw MSPs vote overwhelming in favour.
The Bill should now gain royal assent, and, in doing so, will lower the minimum age for those seeking a gender recognition certificate to 16 and drop the time required for an applicant to live in their acquired gender from two years to three months – six for those aged 16 and 17 – though with a three-month reflection period.
It also removes the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to obtain the certificate.
Ms Baker said she supports the reform of GRA, but said a number of areas of the legislation required improvement.
Sher voted in favour of the general principles of the Bill at stage one, but added: “There were a number of areas where I felt the legislation needed to be improved and I brought forward amendments at stages two and three which reflected my concerns.
“I have remaining concerns about the issues raised by the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, and do not believe these have been addressed. Throughout the Bill process I have engaged with a wide range of opinion and scrutinised the legislation to ensure it was fit for purpose but in the end the Bill was not sufficiently amended to enable me to support it.”Ms Baker said the BIll “doesn’t provide the clarity needed for maintaining single sex services, which is legal under the Equality Act” - and she continued to have concerns that these are at risk of continuing in a way that is transparent for service users.”