Court rules ‘women’ can’t be redefined — Analysis
Edinburgh court refuses to accept 2018 legislation that sought transgender women into the legal definition of women
A legal dispute over the gender representation law has cost the Scottish government dear. “expanded the definition of women”To include transgender individuals. Women’s rights activists had argued that the legislation violated “protected characteristics” related to sex in the UK’s 2010 Equality Act.
Friday’s ruling by the Court of Session at Edinburgh was that the Scottish National Party government (SNP), had exceeded its authority in drafting the Gender Representation on Public Boards Scotland Act 2018 which established half-off for women on all public sector boards.
Individuals are subject to the law. “living as a woman”Who plans on undergoing (or has had) surgery? “process for the purpose of becoming female”When filling these quotas, biological women should also be taken into consideration. The It invoked the “protected characteristic”gender reassignment
However, the court stated that “incorporating those transsexuals living as women into the definition of woman,”The legislation “conflates and confuses” two different protected characteristics. The ruling did not concern the protected characteristics, according to the three judges who heard it. “rights and wrongs” of the trans rights debate, but whether the legislation fell under Holyrood’s devolved powers.
The definition of ‘woman’ adopted in the 2018 act “impinges on the nature of protected characteristics which is a reserved matter,”The ruling states also added that “changing the definitions”The protected characteristic was defined “not permitted”Because it would invalidate Westminster laws. Instead, the court ruled that separate quotas needed to be established by government for transgender persons.
The judges pointed out that, theoretically, the definition in the legislation could allow public boards to reach their gender quotas without having one board member who’s a biological women.
Campaign group For Women Scotland (FWS) challenged the law after it was overturned by a court of appeal last year. Trina Budge, director of FWS, told The Telegraph the law would have been invalid. “allowed men who had not had to deal with pregnancy or workplace motherhood penalties to take advantage simply by taking on a woman’s name and adopting female pronouns.”
“We are delighted that this has been corrected in law and that the judges have restated that the protected characteristic of sex refers to either a male or a female and that provisions in favour of women must, by definition, exclude those who are biologically male,” Budge added.
In the meantime, an unnamed spokesperson claimed that the SNP government was “disappointed by the outcome and are considering its terms.”According to The Paper, it could either strike the definitions of women out of the law, or go to the UK Supreme Court.
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