Scotland’s Parliament is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a law that would reform the process by which transgender individuals can obtain legal gender recognition.
The Gender Recognition Reform bill would allow individuals to change their gender based on proclamation without medical referral. The bill would also lower the age at which individuals can apply for gender change, from 18 to 16.
The bill has sparked debate within Scotland and the United Kingdom, with proponents of the legislation calling it necessary to make the process of gender change simpler and more effective. Opponents fear that removing the medical referral requirement would allow individuals to abuse the process.
This debate has spilled over into the Parliament, which in the days leading to the vote heard contradictory arguments from two UN experts. One argued that the legislation could potentially open the door to predatory males “to get into women’s spaces and have access to women” while another argued that those concerns are based on “unfounded negative stereotypes about trans women as violent or predatory,” the BBC and Guardian report.
Parliament convened on Tuesday to discuss amendments to the bill ahead of Wednesday’s vote. The session stretched late into the night, with supporters of the bill accusing members of the Tory party of using “delaying tactics” to prolong debate, Pink News reports.
Despite delays, the bill is expected to go for a vote Wednesday.