The government’s LGBT Advisory Panel was disbanded after a “fundamental disagreement” over gender recognition law reforms, Tory equalities chief Liz Truss told MPs.
At a women and equalities committee session about the role of the Government Equalities Office (GEO), Truss – the Conservative minister for women and equalities – was grilled about the government’s plan to support LGBT+ Britons.
Tory MP Caroline Nokes, who chairs the committee, asked Truss about the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel, which was disbanded in March.
Liz Truss told MPs that “the LGBT panel were appointed by the previous government, and they were appointed on a time-limited basis until the end of March this year”.
She added: “There were fundamental disagreements, namely that members of the panel supported self-ID for gender recognition certificates. I very strongly feel, as I’ve made clear, that there need to be checks and balances.
“The issue was a fundamental difference of opinion on that issue.”
Adult trans men and women can apply for Gender Recognition Certificates (GRC) under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), which allows for a new birth certificate to be issued in the correct sex.
A 2018 public consultation on potentially reforming the GRA, which more than 108,000 people responded to, found overwhelming public support for removing the requirement that trans people provide medical reports and have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria before being able to apply for a GRC.
This is known as self-determination or self-ID, and was fiercely opposed by anti-trans campaigners.
It recently emerged that at one point in 2020, plans were on the table in the form of a GRA Reform Bill that would have seen the need for a gender dysphoria diagnosis dropped.
Truss also told the women and equalities committee that she would be appointing a new LGBT Panel, saying the government wants to bring in a “wider range of people who can bring in a broad perspective”.
“That’s what we’ll be looking to do through the recruitment of our LGBT Panel,” Liz Truss added. “We will shortly be putting out an expression of interest on that.
“What I’m particularly keen to ensure is that we are recruiting people form right across the country, not just the big metropolitan areas but also towns and villages to get a broad national representation.”