Thursday 20 June 2019

Press release

Changes to gender recognition in Scotland challenged by the Evangelical Alliance

The Evangelical Alliance has called on the Scottish government to provide greater clarity in their planned reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

The changes announced reduce the period someone has to have lived in their new gender from the current two years, to six months, with three of those as a cooling off period prior to the finalisation of the gender change. The Scottish Government committed to a further period of consultation before bringing legislation to the Scottish Parliament. In that consultation the proposals will also consider reducing the age requirement for gender change from 18 to 16. The continued push to allow a child to self-identify is deeply concerning.

The Evangelical Alliance’s position has always been to encourage the church and wider society to respond with compassion to those wrestling with gender dysphoria; to seek clarity that is not based on ideology; and to create space for concerns around the rush to invasive procedures and safeguarding single-sex spaces.

The Evangelical Alliance is encouraged that the government have listened to some of the concerns raised and will continue to engage with the proposals to be published in a draft bill.

Kieran Turner, public policy officer for Evangelical Alliance Scotland, said:

“Today’s announcement paints a mixed picture. We welcome the new consultation and the fact that the Scottish Government have recognised the need to reflect further in light of the many concerns about this legislation. We also welcome the review of youth guidance and the commitment to retain the existing protections of the Equality Act.

“However, in other areas the government are still looking to press ahead, even if, at a slower pace. While the Scottish Government want to move away from language of self-identification, that is still ultimately what is being proposed. Sadly, the government have failed to take the opportunity to clarify that under 18s will not be able to self-identify. We will continue to engage with the Scottish Government on this issue, providing a clear and compassionate Christian response.”

The Evangelical Alliance responded to the initial consultation and has clearly set out its views in 'Transformed - A brief biblical and pastoral introduction to understanding transgender in a changing culture'. This resource highlights the dignity and value of every person and the transformational power of the gospel. It encourages churches to be compassionate in welcoming those with gender dysphoria. It also notes the deep confusion in our culture, in sport, in healthcare and in science. It particularly highlights concerns about the use of powerful drugs with long term affects in treating children and the rise of detransitioning.

Media enquiries

Danny Webster
Email: d.webster@eauk.org
Phone: 020 7520 3862
Mobile: 07766 444 650

Notes to editors

We are the Evangelical Alliance. We join together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals for the sake of the gospel. Representing our members since 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK.     

We love Jesus and we want everyone in the UK to be given an opportunity to know Him.  

We love His church, and we will do all we can to unite evangelicals, building confidence in the gospel and speaking as a trusted voice into society to see it changed for Him.     

Working across the UK, with offices in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast, our members come together from across denominations, locations, age groups and ethnicities, all sharing a passion to know Jesus and make Him known. 

About the Evangelical Alliance

We are the Evangelical Alliance. We join together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals for the sake of the gospel. Representing our members since 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK.

We love Jesus and we want everyone in the UK to be given an opportunity to know Him.

We love His church, and we will do all we can to unite evangelicals, building confidence in the gospel and speaking as a trusted voice into society to see it changed for Him.

Working across the UK, with offices in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast, our members come together from across denominations, locations, age groups and ethnicities, all sharing a passion to know Jesus and make Him known.