Scotland rules Trans people can self identify on upcoming census

The judge in the case threw out a legal challenge from a lobby group who wanted to block Trans people from being given the option to self identify.

The Trans flag drawn in chalk on a pavement

In a landmark case, a judge in Scotland has approved a decision that Trans people can self identify in the country’s upcoming census.

Under the decision, the question “what is your sex?” on the census form will now be accompanied by guidance which reads: “If you are Transgender, the answer you give can be different from what is on your birth certificate. You do not need a gender recognition certificate.”

The group Fair Play For Women had tried to block the option for Trans people, bringing the case to court insisting that census takers must use only their biological sex.

Justice Lord Sandison ruled against the Fair Play For Women challenge, meaning the new guidance on the census can now go ahead.

Lord Sandison stated, “In the modern age, where social change has meant that such issues are much more openly and widely discussed and debated, I would find it impossible to find that the word ‘sex’ in a statute enabling the general population to be asked questions for the wide and general purposes for which a census is conducted falls to be regarded as restricted in the sense for which the petitioner contends.

“Rather, I would accept the suggestion that biological sex, sex recognised by law, or self-identified (or ‘lived’) sex as at the date of the census are all capable of being comprehended within the word.”

Responding to the ruling, Vic Valentine, a spokesperson for the Scottish Trans Alliance, said, “Scotland’s census is meant to count everyone in Scotland as who they are on census day, and the guidance provided reassures Trans men and Trans women that this is the same for them as it is for everyone else.”

Valentine continued, “This is an important decision: clearly stating that all Trans men and Trans women are able to be counted on the census as who they are, not just those who have changed the sex on their birth certificate.”

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