Hundreds of trans rights campaigners have gathered outside the UK Government’s Edinburgh headquarters to show their opposition to the “culture war” they claim has been started by Tory ministers.

The demonstration outside Queen Elizabeth House was organised in response to the UK Government triggering a section 35 order to block Scotland’s gender recognition reforms from becoming law.

Under the plans, trans people will no longer require a gender dysphoria diagnosis to obtain a gender recognition certificate while the minimum age will drop to 16.

Read more: Shona Robison tells Alister Jack to 'immediately' halt blocking GRR

Manager of Scottish Trans, Vic Valentine told activists he was initially “worried” that the UK Government could have a case against the legislation, but “seeing their reasons show it’s clear they have no grounds to block this Bill”.

One of the event organisers labelled the UK Government action “an attack against trans rights”, as they called on Alister Jack to “stop spreading disinformation about what is in this Bill”.


Scottish Greens co-leader, Patrick Harvie, said: “We must never let up on doubling down on the progress that we’ve already won and showing determination for further progress ahead, because every generation will have to fight and refight for our liberation and our equality and for our human rights.

"I know the people in there (pointing to the Scotland Office) might close their blinds and not want to listen to us, but we are not going to let them have the last say.”

Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton told the campaigners that the gender recognition reforms will simply extend human rights to trans people.

He said: “We are removing the medicalisation and the trauma of the current process which means you have to submit the final judgement about your identity to a group of strangers you will never meet with no right to appeal.

“I am proud to stand with the majority of MSPs.”

Read More: Tory MSP 'does not buy' UK Government argument to block gender reforms

Flick Peace, a trans rights activist, told The Herald that the UK Government is “obsessed with starting a culture war” over the issue.

They added: “They don’t have reasons to block this other than they do not agree with the principle of it.

“They’ve not interest in fixing it, the Tories just want to alienate us further for political reasons.”

Toni Stammers added that “we cannot have any more delays” to the legislation becoming law.

They said: “It’s desperate move from the UK and you can see by how many people are here today that we won’t stand for it.”