The Scottish Government has released the details of their five-year ‘Non-Binary Action Plan’ to improve the lives of non-binary people living in the country.
The equality plan is the first of its kind to be implemented in the UK. With plans to fund research on the experience of non-binary individuals in Scotland, the project will similarly provide additional training to fertility preservation providers in order to address the unique healthcare needs of non-binary patients.
Public bodies and services throughout Scotland will similarly receive guidance under the new plan, particularly addressing name change services for trans and non-binary people.
Equalities Minister Emma Roddick announced the plan, saying that it will “contribute to improving the experiences of non-binary people and begin to tackle some of the challenges that they currently face in their everyday lives.
“Our vision is for Scotland to be the place where everyone’s identity is recognised, respected and celebrated,” Roddick added.
Following the announcement of the five-year plan, seven LGBTQ+ charity organisations throughout Scotland have welcomed the terms with open arms. The organisations include Scottish Trans, Equality Network, LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland, LGBT Health and Wellbeing, LEAP Sports and Time for Inclusive Education.
NEW 📢 @scotgov has just published its Non-Binary Equality Action plan – becoming the first government in the world to publish a time-bound range of deliverable actions specifically for non-binary people 🏴
Read more here: https://t.co/PPGwiiY7iH
Our statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/2XGFnaI0ss
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) November 16, 2023
Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ rights organisation, issued a statement praising the Scottish Government for becoming “the first government in the world” to put this kind of plan into action.
“We applaud the Scottish Government on becoming the first government in the world to publish a time-bound range of deliverable actions specifically for non-binary people,” said Stonewall on Twitter/X.
“The Non-Binary Equality Action Plan sets out the steps the Scottish Government will take over the next five years to address the inequalities and barriers faced by non-binary people.
“The commitments within the plan span six key themes – including healthcare and date and research – which seek to holistically advance non-binary equality in Scotland.
“We are supportive of the plan and welcome the Scottish Government’s efforts to respond to the Working Group on Non-Binary Equality’s recommendations within their proposed actions,” Stonewall continued.
The publication of Scotland’s Non-Binary Action Plan comes after the government’s decision to not extend legal gender recognition to non-binary individuals by reforming the Gender Recognition Act, which resulted in pushback from the Scottish Government’s Working Group on Non-Binary Equality.
The Action Plan has received widespread support from Scottish LGBTQ+ charities, including Scottish Trans – Scotland’s national trans equality and human rights project. Vic Valentine, the manager of Scottish Trans and a member of the Scottish Government working group, responded to the plan, saying: “It is really positive to see this Action Plan published, and to see that the Scottish Government has made public, concrete and measurable commitments to changes that will make non-binary people’s lives better.
“I particularly welcome the commitments that will have a positive impact not only on non-binary people but on marginalised people more widely: such as those that seek to make it easier and fairer for people on benefits to participate in policy making processes and be paid for their time, and to look at how the design of public buildings does, or doesn’t, work for everyone in Scotland.
“As with any plan, the most important thing will be delivering. We look forward to working with non-binary people across Scotland to challenge the Government to turn these commitments into real change,” Valentine concluded.
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