Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004

Closed 1 Mar 2018

Opened 9 Nov 2017


The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows a transgender person to change their legally recognised gender. This consultation, which closed on 1 March 2018, sought views on whether and how the Gender Recognition Act 2004 should be amended in relation to the law in Scotland.

The consultation covered establishing new arrangements for dealing with applications for legal gender recognition, the minimum age at which applications for gender recognition could be made and related matters. 

Why your views matter

In the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, the Scottish Government committed to 'review and reform gender recognition law so it is in line with international best practice for people who are transgender or intersex'.

The Government has decided that because people with intersex people/people with variations in sex characteristics face issues that are distinct from those experienced by transgender people, we should consult separately on each set of issues. We will publish a consultation later seeking views about how we should address the issues experienced by intersex people/people with variations of sex characteristics. 

Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. 

Download the consultation paper.

What happens next

There were over 15,500 responses to the consultation.  

In November 2018 we published the independent analysis of the consultation responses. 

The Cabinet Secretary for Equalities, Shirley-Anne Somerville announced on 20 June 2019 that a Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill will be published by the end of the year. 

The bill will be in draft form to allow for a full consultation on its detail and to seek to address concerns which some respondents to this consultation raised. An Equality Impact Assessment will be published alongside the bill to ensure all rights are protected. 





  • Children and Families
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Law and Order