Scotland’s Parliament has passed a bill allowing teenagers as young as 16 to legally change their gender without a medical diagnosis.
Parliament members passed the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) bill on Thursday in a 86-69 vote and still awaits royal assent, The Christian Post reports.
According to an overview of the bill, the legislation seeks to change the process of obtaining a gender recognition certificate (GRC). The certificate allows a person to identify with their preferred gender identity instead of the one they were assigned at birth.
If signed into law, it would lower the age to receive a certificate to 16 years old and no longer require a medical diagnosis for gender dysphoria. People living by their preferred gender identity could also apply for a GRC in three months instead of the current period of two to three years.
Scotland Secretary of State Alister Jack said that the government might not approve of the legislation due to several concerns.
“We share the concerns that many people have regarding certain aspects of this Bill, and in particular the safety issues for women and children,” Jack said in a statement, according to The Telegraph.
“We will look closely at that, and also the ramifications for the 2010 Equality Act and other U.K. wide legislation, in the coming weeks — up to and including a Section 35 order stopping the Bill going for Royal Assent if necessary.”
The bill also amends the Gender Recognition Act of 2004, which lays out the process by which a person can become trans-identified.
“There have been international developments since the 2004 Act including the reclassification of gender identity health by the World Health Organization from ‘Mental and Behavioral Disorders’ to ‘Conditions related to sexual health,'” the policy memorandum in support of the bill says.
“Since Argentina became the first country to do so in 2012, a number of other countries have moved to systems of legal gender recognition primarily based on an applicant’s declaration of their gender, including Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Malta and Norway.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.