A lawyer has suggested that convicted rapist Isla Bryson, formerly Adam Graham, could have legally become female under Nicola Sturgeon’s proposed gender reform laws. Mr Jonathan Brown, a member of the Scottish Bar for more than 20 years, said there was “zero doubt” that Isla Bryson could have legally changed gender had the laws come into force.
The legislation which could have allowed this to happen was blocked by the UK government last month using a section 35 order.
Under these laws, Scots would have been able to legally change their gender without providing evidence.
According to the Commons Library: “Under the process proposed in the draft Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, applicants would no longer be required to provide medical evidence of their diagnosis of gender dysphoria but would still have to make a statutory declaration.”
The Scottish Tories said Mr Brown’s comments had “demolished Nicola Sturgeon’s confused position on gender self-ID”.
Mr Brown wrote on Twitter: “If there’s a theoretical process to distinguish between ‘genuinely trans’ and ‘nasty rapist just pretending to be trans’, at what point would that be done?
“There is, in my view at least, no room at all for a solution to this problem that is a sort of proviso at the end that says ‘unless you’re a rapist, in which case we don’t believe you when you tell us you identify as a woman’.
“It can’t in any sensible world be the position that only rapists get their self-declaration second guessed. It’s either self-declaration for all or it’s subject to an objective check for all.”
The issue of Bryson has become a sticking point for Ms Sturgeon who recently refused three times to say whether Isla Bryson is a man or a woman.
In response to a question from Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross on Bryson’s true gender and whether they were faking being transgender, Ms Sturgeon said: “My feeling is that is almost certainly the case, which is why the key factor in this case is not the individual’s claim to be a woman.
“The key and in fact only important factor in this is that the individual is convicted of rape – the individual is a rapist – and that is the factor that should be the deciding one in decisions about how that prisoner is now treated.”
On this, the Telegraph reports that Mr Brown said: “How, logically, can the First Minister doubt Isla Bryson’s trans status or suggest it’s being faked for opportunistic reasons without a definitional yardstick by which to make that judgement?”
While Sturgeon’s position on gender self-identification may have confused some, the future of the Gender Reform Bill remains unclear.