MSPs are expected to vote on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill later today. Scottish Labour MSPs are, like most other parties and even many families in Scotland, divided on this issue. That is neither unhealthy nor anything to cover up.
Scottish Labour’s Deputy Jackie Baillie, leading on the Bill, has insisted that her amendments 127 and 130 would preserve single-sex exceptions as intended in Labour’s Equality Act. Even if she was right (and post the Haldane Ruling, who knows), now that all Labour’s significant amendments to the Bill have fallen, the party’s MSPs should not in all conscience vote for the Bill in its current form. It is simply not safe for women and girls, as they have acknowledged in the amendments they laid down and spoke for.
Shereen Benjamin of Labour Women’s Declaration said:
“The Scottish Labour Group should oppose this Bill today, and can do so in good conscience. They will also be expressing the will of the majority of Scotland’s voters. Above all, to vote for the Bill in full knowledge of its shortcomings, but with the secret hope that it will be stopped in law or by UK government action, is cynical beyond belief. It is not how decent politicians should conduct themselves. Women are watching.”