An Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision for the marriage of persons of the same sex; to make further provision as to the persons who may solemnise marriage and as to marriage procedure and the places at which civil marriages may be solemnised; to make provision for the registration of civil partnerships by celebrants of religious or belief bodies; to make provision about gender change by married persons and civil partners; to make a minor correction in relation to registration information; and for connected purposes.

Explanation from SPICe

Amendments to section 4 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 ensures that a person who has spousal consent to stay in the marriage and a person in a civil partnership whose partner is transitioning on the same day can receive a full Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). 

Further amendments were agreed in order that a person who does not have written spousal consent for their gender recognition, and who therefore obtains only an interim gender recognition certificate from the UK Gender Recognition Panel (GRP), may then apply to the sheriff court to convert to a full certificate.

The role of the sheriff in the conversion would be purely administrative. The sheriff is required to notify the trans person’s spouse that the application has been made and when it has been granted. The spouse is then permitted an indefinite right to apply for a non-contestable divorce. (This amendment only removes the need for spousal consent in Scotland.) 

When gender recognition is granted, a revised marriage certificate would be issued only with the spouse‘s agreement. Continuity of the marriage would not be impacted by the issue of the full gender recognition certificate. As such, the spouse‘s financial, parental and other rights associated with the marriage would not be affected by the gender recognition. 

A new addition was also made to Schedule 2 to the Bill which makes it possible for certain long-term transitioned persons to be able to apply to the GRP under a new “long term transitioned” process. There is a range of eligibility criteria to qualify for this process which would allow for simpler evidence requirements. This recognises the fact that those who have been living in their acquired gender in the long term may find it more difficult to assemble the evidence required by the GRP. 

Provisions were also made for applications to the GRP for a full GRC in certain cases where the civil partner or spouse of a transgender person dies. The right of appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law against a decision by the panel to reject an application was also provided for.


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