Changing gender will not be made easier, Liz Truss has announced, but the price of a certificate to legally swap sex will be cut to £5.
The Minister for Women and Equalities confirmed speculation that the Government will not allow transgender people to self-identity as the opposite sex, stating that gender recognition reform “is not the top priority for transgender people”.
Instead, they will still be required to live in their acquired gender for two years in order to be granted a gender recognition certificate (GRC), which legally confirms their transition.
In 2018, the Government proposed reforming the GRA to allow transgender people to “self-ID” - meaning they would not have to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a doctor in order to get a GRC.
But campaigners warned such a move would erode women’s rights in sports, prisons and single-sex spaces.
Responding to the 2018 public consultation on reforming the Act on Tuesday, Ms Truss said the "balance struck in this legislation is correct" because there are "proper checks" in place.
Ms Truss announced some changes to the process, including reducing the application fee from £140 to £5 after 34 per cent of transgender people said it was “too expensive”.
The change comes despite the fact that the majority of people responding to the Government consultation (64.7 per cent) did not believe the fee should not be reduced, with many suggesting that it was not disproportionate in comparison to costs for other legal processes.
In the consultation, which received “highly polarised” responses, there was a “strongly-voiced opinion” that children should be allowed to apply for a GRC. The law currently requires an individual to be over the age of 18.
“There was a strongly-voiced opinion that lowering the age for gender recognition would help trans minors, because their identities are forged during youth and they need greater independence to determine their own gender identity,” a report said.
In a written statement, Ms Truss said: “We have looked carefully at the issues raised in the consultation, including potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004. It is the Government’s view that the balance struck in this legislation is correct, in that there are proper checks and balances in the system and also support for people who want to change their legal sex.
“Britain leads the world as a country where everybody is able to lead their life freely and treated with respect
“At the heart of this is the principle of individual liberty. Our philosophy is that a person’s character, your ideas, and your work ethic trumps the colour of your skin or your biological sex. We firmly believe that neither biology nor gender is destiny.”