Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has celebrated the passing of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, after being one of the final speakers on the legislation following three days of deliberations.
Speaking at the end of the Stage 3 debate, Ms Roddick told colleagues the debate had planted unwarranted fear, both amongst the trans community and cisgender women, and shared her hope that, moving forward, discourse on LGBTQI+ issues could be more respectful.
Ms Roddick also shared the experience of a young trans woman in her region, noting that there are no MSPs in the chamber yet who describe themselves as transgender.
“This bill has been a long time coming and I’m so glad it has finally finished its journey through parliament after so many years.
“The debate on this legislation, which makes a small administrative change for a small percentage of the population, has gone on for a quarter of my life, and I have no doubt that the misinformation shared has contributed to an increased risk of violence and hatred towards the trans community.
“Now that this bill has finally passed, I hope we can start to talk in a more healthy way about things that will make an even bigger difference to trans lives, like ending conversion therapy, improving trans access to health care, and recognising non-binary identities.
“Today is a small change but a big step forward.”