The UK government has announced it will block the controversial Scottish gender bill that seeks to implement a system of gender self-identification and lower the minimum age that a person can change their legal sex from 18 years of age to 16.
According to the BBC, this will be the first time a Section 35 order has been used, which prevents a Scottish bill from being enacted.
British MPs are concerned that the law would clash with equality laws elsewhere in the UK.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, had previously stated that such an action would amount to an “outrage” and indicated that the Scottish government would be likely to retaliate with legal challenge to the block.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack will likely lay an order before the UK parliament on Tuesday that would prevent the bill being sent to the King for Royal approval.
Despite enormous opposition to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, Scottish Parliament voted 86 to 39 in favor of passing it on December 22. The majority of left-wing Scottish National Party, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs backed the reform, and it was opposed by the majority of Conservatives.
Conservative MP Russell Findlay had sought an amendment that would prevent convicted sex offenders from legally changing their sex to female and thereby giving them access to spaces for women and girls, but this was rejected by a vote of 64 to 59.
A further amendment aimed at delaying lowering the minimum age for a legal sex change from 18 to 16 until after the findings of the independent review of England's pediatric gender service were finalized was also rejected.
The BBC reports that the Scottish government and the Scottish parliament are being informed of the decision.
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