The GRA Response is Unacceptable: Our Statement in Support of Trans Rights

written by John Urquhart, general secretary of Harmony Party UK, with approval of the Harmony Party UK Media Working Group

The insistence on the Conservative Government that the process for gender recognition – and we must be clear here: the requirement for “recognition” of an identity that is internal is inherently a chauvinistic act of statist violence akin to the attempt to medicalise gayness – remain convoluted & lengthy is no less than an insistence that trans people must suffer.

The length of the process is unacceptable. The manner of the process is unacceptable. It is exclusionary to both non-binary people and those who do not suffer gender dysphoria but do identify in opposition to their assigned sex.

Throwing a few crumbs in the form of reduction of cost & a slight reduction in complexity of process also does not in any way make up for the utter absurdity that trans people must seek permission from their partner before legally transitioning. It does not make up for the gatekeeping that trans people will face from anti-trans medical professionals.

It does not put in place any regulations which would prevent that discrimination, either, even if such regulation were workable – which it isn’t: people can lie about reasoning quite easily, an experience familiar to LGTBQIA+ people (and other marginalised groups in society) who are excluded but given “non-bigoted” reasons for the exclusions.

The Government has also made its response unacceptably partisan. The entirety of the release reads like a Conservative Party political broadcast in support of their own policy; this is a flagrant – and increasingly common – misuse of Government instruments in the interest of the Conservative Party.

And, to add insult to this injury, the accompanying “analysis” of the response of over 100,000 Britons runs to 187 pages, rendering it utterly inaccessible for the vast majority of those respondents. It is written in obfuscative language.

What’s more, the accompanying “analysis” only serves to highlight the absurd way in which this consultation has utterly ignored the actual respondents: it frequently divides respondents into “respondents” and “trans respondents” – which only supports the spurious argument that “trans activists” attempted to “skew the results”.

An example of this ignoring of those consulted is the point on “spousal consent”, which reads:

A majority of respondents (84.9%) disagreed with the spousal consent
requirement in the GRA. The main reason for disagreeing with the spousal consent requirement was the opinion that the requirement does not respect the
autonomy of the GRC applicant. Those who agreed with the requirement
emphasised that a marriage is a contract between two people, and the wishes of
one should not be prioritised over those of the other. Some stressed the importance
of the option of annulment of a marriage, accommodating religious beliefs that were
not favourable to either divorce or same-sex marriage.

Analysis of Responses

Here we see that 84.9% were against the spousal consent requirement – but it has been retained nonetheless, and in this “analysis”, the weight is given not to those who rejected it. 25 words are spent on this disagreement, with no accompanying analysis of sentiment, while 56 words are used to reinforce homophobic and transphobic sentiments.

What’s more, in a consultation that was effectively about self-id, the analysis mentions self-id exactly three times, and only from the perspective that it should not be allowed: no weight whatsoever is given in the affirmative, nor is this even discussed in any meaningful way.

The Conservative have ruled ideologically after a supposedly democratic consultation of the public.

This is wholly unacceptable, and we demand that the British Government cease running roughshod over the clear and obvious wishes of the British public: self-determination is a core British value. Democracy is, supposedly, a core British value.

Therefore we close with a very simple demand: Respect our values. Respect our democracy. Respect all people – and their identities.