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Compare the manifestos – Changing the law


The Equality Network’s remit is to work for LGBTI equality. We are party politically neutral, and we do not support any particular political party.

Key LGBTI equality issues in the law include:

  • Reform of gender recognition law, to: remove the psychiatric diagnosis from legal gender recognition, reduce the age at which people can get legal recognition of the gender they live as, and provide legal recognition for people who do not identify as men or women. More details here
  • Determine what legal protections are needed by intersex people
  • Use the newly devolved equality legislative power to promote equality in public services
  • Allow mixed-sex couples to register civil partnerships

What our manifesto says on these issues

Below is what the party manifestos say in these areas. We have only included quotes that relate directly and explicitly to LGBTI equality – of course there is more in the manifestos on other aspects of the law. We also fully understand that people do not make decisions on who to vote for based just on what each party says about LGBTI equality! You can access the parties’ full manifestos from this page.

Reform gender recognition law


RISE backs the Scottish Transgender Alliance’s Equal Recognition Campaign, which calls for trans people’s rights to self-determination … We welcome the announcement of legal recognition for people who do not identify as men or women but would go further, removing the need for a psychiatric diagnosis in legal gender recognition, and removing the age limit at which people can get legal recognition of their gender identity. (page 14)

Scottish Conservatives

Law Reform: Other areas that we believe require review are Family Law as well as the Gender Recognition Act (page 43).

Scottish Greens

We will back the campaign to reform gender recognition law in line with international best practice. We will call for a government-led review of legislation and services to identify inequalities for LGBTI+ couples and people of all non-binary gender identities (page 33).

Scottish Labour

We will ensure that Scotland’s transgender communities gain new rights. A Scottish Labour Government will change the law to provide legal recognition for people who do not identify as men or women and remove the psychiatric diagnosis requirement from legal gender recognition process. Scotland’s young people who wish to seek legal recognition of the gender they live would be entitled to do so from the age of 16 under Scottish Labour. (page 37)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Reform the Gender Recognition Act to bring it into line with international good practice in recognising the gender identity of trans people, including consideration of the medical requirements placed on applicants, and recognise the gender identity of non-binary people (page 21).

Scottish National Party

A distinctive part of our equal marriage law was our more progressive approach to Transgender recognition which allows married transgender people to obtain a full Gender Recognition Certificate, and stay married. We must now build on this to help end discrimination. We will review and reform gender recognition law, so it’s in line with international best practice for people who are Transgender or Intersex. (page 21 of detail section)

Women’s Equality Party

We also recognise that the binary words ‘woman’ and ‘man’ do not reflect the gender experience of everyone in our country, and support the right of all to define their sex or gender or to reject gendered divisions as they choose (page 5).

Analyse the devolved aspects of the Transgender Equality Inquiry, undertaken by the Women and Equalities Select Committee at Westminster, and look into ways to consult with and increase the representation of non-binary people (page 14).


Legal protections for intersex people


RISE backs the Scottish Transgender Alliance’s Equal Recognition Campaign, which calls for … recognition of the need for intersex people to have full bodily autonomy. (page 14)

Scottish Greens

Green MSPs will call for a ban on unjustified medical interventions that seek to forcibly alter a person’s sexual characteristics… This would include medically unnecessary surgery on intersex minors (page 25).


Equality legislation

Scottish Greens

Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI+) people. There must be equality before the law regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation (page 33).

Gender Equality Bill. Gender inequality is deeply entrenched in Scotland’s economy, politics and culture. Despite some progress, the rate of change is incredibly slow. As a result, diverse groups of women, including disabled women, refugee women, unpaid carers, older women and lone parents experience discrimination, poverty and insecurity. LGBTI+ people including trans people and those of minority gender identities are also significantly affected by gender inequality. Green MSPs will support a Gender Equality Bill to drive progress against all forms of gender inequality (page 33).

Scottish Greens will continue to call for the devolution of equalities law (page 33).


Mixed-sex civil partnership


We support the extension of the availability of civil partnerships to all couples, regardless of their gender identification. (page 14)

Scottish Greens

We will call … for legislation to make Civil Partnerships open to all couples on an equal basis with marriage (page 33).

Scottish Labour

Scottish Labour was proud to support the introduction of equal marriage and to legislate for civil partnerships when in government. Scottish Labour will ensure that all couples will be afforded the right to enter into a civil partnership. (page 38)


What the manifestos say on other issues