Readers' letters: Gender debate has questions to answer

The UK is a liberal country when it comes to sexual orientation.

Most people accept equal marriage and cross-dressing is seen as a matter of personal choice. Such measures should make life easier for trans people.

However, the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill goes further than that and raises a lot of questions about ex-males accessing women's spaces.

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The world of women's sport, for example, is divided on the issue - some sports have accepted ex-males on an equal basis with women, whereas others have ruled that ex-males have a biological advantage acquired as they grew up and so those sports do not accept ex-males as women.

Likewise, there are problems of prisoners in male prisons being able to demand transfer to women's prisons and ex-males accessing women's refuges.

Nor is it clear why people should be allowed to rewrite their birth certificate. A birth certificate states what a person's sex was at birth. It does not prevent anyone from living as the opposite sex later in life.

Giving people the right to alter their birth certificate will make the problems outlined above, concerning access to women's sport, prisons and refuges, much more difficult to resolve. It is not clear why the Government should allow anyone to rewrite their birth certificate.

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These are just some of the issues which make easy gender change problematic. Women's rights campaigners have highlighted these issues (among others) but it is not clear how the problems have been resolved so that the Bill can proceed.

Les Reid, Edinburgh.

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Oil and gas use isn’t sustainable, Nicola

Nicola Sturgeon declared that we are in a climate emergency. And yet her government's recent, ill thought publication "Building a New Scotland Fund" states that among other objectives, during the first decade of indep-endence there will be £20bn raised from the windfall proceeds of oil companies based on current prices.

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Not unlike Alex Salmond's glorious vision in 2014 that oil revenues would power an independent Scotland, the current First Minister maintains her master plan will set us on the road to the sunny uplands of a greener, fairer net zero future that the rest of the world will emulate.

She says oil and gas will be extracted "sustainably". Will she explain her magic formula that will ensure that these fossil fuels which she simultaneously despises and desires, will be burnt "sustainably" and thus not add to the CO2 she insists are detroying the planet?

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Neil J Bryce, Kelso.

Help us to tackle period poverty

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Globally millions of women and girls find it incredibly difficult to manage menstruation. Yet it is a human right. Periods are a natural part of the biological cycle of reproduction experienced by half the world’s population.

Various organisations work hard to help refugee women and girls through the provision of washable, reusable period pads. These, if cared for correctly, last from 3 to 5 years. They are usually given in drawstring bags, often along with pants and soap.

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One such organisation in the UK is The Pachamama Project. Edinburgh readers, particularly those who sew, are invited to find out more about how they can help restore women’s dignity by coming to a meeting in the hall at Portobello and Joppa Parish Church (1 Brunstane Road North, Edinburgh EH15 2DL) at 3pm on Sunday November 20. You will be made most welcome. Remember, beards can wait; periods can’t.

Kay Ross, Edinburgh

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Write to the Edinburgh Evening News

We welcome your thoughts. Write to [email protected] including name, address and phone number – we won't print full details. Keep letters under 300 words, with no attachments. If referring to an article, include date, page number and heading.

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