Readers' letters: Badenoch makes trans matters worse

UK Minister Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for International Trade, President of the Board of Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities, says that predators might exploit gender recognition laws.

And yet that hasn't happened in any of the 33 other countries and states with similar laws to Scotland's new bill.Kemi Badenoch also regrets that trans people get conflated with predators and yet that is exactly what she herself is doing.She complains that opponents of the bill are called transphobic and yet I have been called a rape-enabler, nonce and paedophile - with my home address published - because I and the Equality Network support the bill.Kemi Badenoch's position is unfair and, in the longer term, unsustainable.

Tim Hopkins, Equality Network, Edinburgh

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Nicola must rethink Gender Reform Bill

Nicola Sturgeon should rethink on the Gender Reform Bill. Why is it OK at 16 to make such a life changing decision to change gender, which is irreversible, and yet you can’t drive a car, drink in a pub or even vote?

It is such a huge decision to make. What difference will two more years make for this decision to give yourself and your family time to really think it through?

More support is needed for these people and their families. Ms Sturgeon doesn’t seem to be taking into account the feelings of the people from both sides of the story. You all need to talk to each other. This is not about getting votes, it’s about the lives of human beings.

Mrs Susan Smart, Penicuik

Autism commissioner shouldn’t be delayed

As a group of organisations who support vulnerable children and young people, many with autism and a learning disability, we would add our support to concerns relating to a delay in a Scottish Government commitment to establish a commissioner to promote and protect the rights of autistic people.

Currently too many of those with autism and learning disabilities are struggling to get the support needed, with their human rights breached, and a commissioner is vital to help them fight their corner.

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However, with a delay in public consultation on this until late 2023, there is a real concern that the delivery of a commissioner is simply not being prioritised.

While not by any means a panacea, a commissioner for autism and learning disability would be the first of its kind in the world, established in law to champion the human rights of autistic people and people with a learning disability.

It would be a powerful voice, improving access to services and advocating on people’s behalf when they cannot. A commissioner would also close the current gap between what the law says and what actually happens, delivering improvements. Importantly people would also have recourse when the system falls short and fails to deliver for them.

Many of those with autism and learning disabilities feel invisible, and such a role can help people live good lives with choice and control, free from discrimination. We would urge the Scottish Government to develop a sense of urgency on this vital matter.

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The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition, Edinburgh

Dunard Centre should replace Filmhouse

I do hope the Dunard Centre will include, or swiftly now be redrawn to include, a major cinema facility to replace Edinburgh's much loved and sadly missed Filmhouse.

Gus Logan, North Berwick

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