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Scotland lowers gender transition age from 18 to 16, will no longer require medical diagnosis

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Scotland’s Parliament voted 86 to 39 on Tuesday to pass a law that makes it easier for transgender people to change their legal gender.

Scotland is the 10th country in Europe to implement such a policy, with Denmark being the first.

The law makes it easier for transgender people to acquire a new driver’s licenses, birth certificate and other official documents that match their gender identities. Scotland previously required that transgender people wait two years and be diagnosed with gender dysphoria before applying to certify their transition. 

The law also lowered the legal age for a minor to request the legal gender change, from 18 to 16 years.

“Over the large arch we are seeing a huge movement toward a human rights based approach to gender recognition” in Europe, said Cianán Russell, a senior policy offer at ILGA-Europe, a LGBT rights advocacy group.

Parliament’s vote came after three days of debate. As the law was passed, protesters filling parliament and shouted “shame on you,” while others cheered and clapped.

Opponents of the law, such as several members of Scotland’s Conservative Party and some feminist activists, argued that the law fails to protect women and girls against predatory males who may take advantage of the laws leniency.

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