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Changing gender set to become easier as 'demeaning' medical checks are reviewed

Changing gender set to become easier as 'demeaning' medical checks are reviewed

The UK Government is considering law reform to make it easier for people to change their own gender.

James Morton, Scottish Trans Alliance Manager, said: "We welcome that the UK Government has now followed the Scottish Government's lead in accepting that the Gender Recognition Act needs to be urgently reformed".

She told Sky News on Sunday the state needs to "stop treating people changing their gender as if it's some medical problem that needs fixing".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said May would have his support if she allowed transpeople to "self-identify" their gender.

Greening said the government was working on tackling prejudice 50 years after the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

We need a simple process which isn't medicalised, intrusive or demeaning.

Suzanna Hopwood, a member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group, said it is "vital" the reform removes the requirement for medical evidence and an intrusive interview panel.

Morton added: "The current United Kingdom process to change the gender on a trans person's birth certificate is a humiliating, offensive and expensive red-tape nightmare which requires them to submit intrusive psychiatric evidence to a faceless tribunal panel".

LGBT advocacy group Stonewall said the current rules were intrusive and demeaning and needed reform.

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The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee's Inquiry into Transgender Equality published its report in January 2016 recommending reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Under the new policies, put forward by Equalities Minister Justine Greening, people will be able to change gender without requiring a doctor's note.

An attempt to speed up and de-medicalise the process for changing gender will be the main element of a consultation on the laws that underpin gender transition, enshrined in the Gender Recognition Act.

A separate consultation in Scotland goes even further and proposes a cut in the age at which people can change their gender from 18 to 16.

Gay and bisexual men will be able to donate blood within three months of sexual activity instead of 12 months, the United Kingdom government has announced as part of a wider reform of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) laws.

This will be reduced again in 2018 due to medical advances.

Men who have sex with men are now barred from donating blood for a year following their last sexual encounter in order to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

'I'm so proud that the work of FreedomToDonate and our supporters will help ensure more people than ever before are allowed to safely donate blood.

While many are welcoming the announcements, some campaigners are not.