Wales follows Scotland into clash with UK government over trans rights: Labour administration demand new legal powers to make it easier to change gender but is accused of using LGBT community as a ‘political tool’
- The Labour administration today launched a LGBTQ+ Action Plan
- Seeks to ‘trigger’ negotiations with Westminster about devolving gender laws
- Likely to set up a furious row with ministers in London already battling Scotland
Welsh ministers set themselves on a collision course with Westminster over trans rights today with a demand for new powers to ease gender self-identification.
The Labour administration today launched a LGBTQ+ Action Plan that seeks to ‘trigger’ negotiations about taking on the role in overseeing how people change their gender.
But the move by Labour in conjunction with Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru, is likely to set up a furious row with Tory ministers in London.
They are already bracing for legal action with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over a law reducing the age at which people can change gender from 18 to 16.
Welsh Conservative shadow minister for equalities, Altaf Hussain, said: ‘While I firmly believe that more needs to be done to support LGBTQ+ people, the further devolution of powers is not the answer. We have seen the chaos that the SNP have brought about with devolved powers and now Labour ministers are seeking to do the same.
‘Members of the LGBTQ+ community deserve our respect, support and understanding, they don’t deserve to be used as a political tool by Labour ministers in their bid to secure more powers.’
The Labour administration, led by Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn, today launched a LGBTQ+ Action Plan that seeks to ‘trigger’ negotiations about taking on the role in overseeing how people change their gender
But the move by Labour in conjunction with Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru, is likely to set up a furious row with Tory ministers in London. They are already bracing for legal action with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over a law reducing the age at which people can change gender from 18 to 16.
First Minister Mark Drakeford last month said Wales should have a gender recognition system similar to that recently approved in Scotland
The action plan lists gaining devolved powers as a ‘short term’ goal for the administration.
It pledges to ‘start negotiation with UK Government, and trigger a request to devolve powers related to Gender Recognition (and) identify ways to support Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) applicants in Wales.’
But the UK government has pledged to block the Scottish laws using reserved powers and there appears little chance the stance would be different for Wales.
Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn joined Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price to launch the porgramme today, saying: ‘LGBTQ+ communities remain under attack, with our hard-fought-for rights at risk of being rolled back around the world, including here in the UK.
‘I’m proud that here in Wales LGBTQ+ rights are embedded in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government commitments and the LGBTQ+ Action Plan is a commitment in the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.
‘The plan is ambitious but with hope at its heart. We are absolutely committed to meaningful change for LGBTQ+ communities, creating a society and country where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as ourselves.’
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