Scots will now be able to identify however they like for the 2022 census, regardless of their legal or medical status, following a legal ruling on Thursday.
The campaign group Fair Play for Women, who instigated a legal challenge against self-identification, had unsuccessfully argued that individuals must answer the question about sex in the census “truthfully” and that the truthful answer would be defined by “the sex on the certificate”, GB News reports.
Lord Craig Sandison ruled that there is “no general rule or principle of law that a question as to a person’s sex may only properly be answered by reference to the sex stated on that person’s birth certificate or GRC [Gender Recognition Certificate]”.
Lord Sandison ruled that provided the answer to the sex question on the census was given in “good faith and on reasonable grounds”, it could not be considered fraudulent or false, even if the individual selected a gender they were not legally classified as.
After losing the case, Fair Play for Women said they were “disappointed with the judgment” and that the guidance in Scotland “proposed for the sex question will jeopardise the collection of accurate data on sex in the Scottish census and erodes the harmonisation of data collected via censuses across the UK”.
Despite losing the initial ruling, Fair Play for Women announced on Twitter on Saturday that they have been granted an appeal that will take place on the 23rd of February.
We are in the appeal court in just 4 days time. Support us if you can.https://t.co/kA5xYhlabx
— FairPlayForWomen (@fairplaywomen) February 19, 2022
Upon hearing the verdict, pro-lesbian, gay, and bisexual campaign group the LGB Alliance tweeted in support of Fair Play for Women, saying that “without reliable data on sex, data on sexual orientation is meaningless”.
Conservative peer Baroness Jacqueline Foster also sided with the women’s rights organisation, tweeting them “Good luck” for their appeal.
On the 15th of March 2021, the group won a court case against the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics (ONS), who are responsible for planning and carrying out the census in England and Wales, with the result that the ONS was legally obliged to “publish its Guidance, on a final basis, in terms that ‘If you are considering how to answer, use the sex recorded on your birth certificate or your Gender Recognition Certificate’”.
Fair Play for Women was also awarded £46,000, which they said they have used to fund their Scottish court case.
This victory for the women’s group in the London-based High Court of Justice only however applies to England and Wales, as Scotland has its own devolved legal and census system.
The group has said that Northern Ireland has agreed to adhere to the English High Court’s ruling, however.
School: Kids Who Cannot Understand Gender Fluidity Are to be Viewed as ‘Transphobic’https://t.co/Yphnmp6H9v
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 14, 2022