The Scottish Parliament has overwhelming passed a controversial bill allowing people as young as 16 to change their gender without any medical diagnosis.
The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill passed by 86 votes to 39 despite polls showing two thirds of Scots opposed to the bill.
If enacted, it will mean Scottish citizens over 18 only have to live in their acquired gender for three months in order to obtain a legal gender recognition.
Those aged 16 and 17 will have live in their preferred identity for six months to qualify.
A previous requirement for a gender dysphoria medical diagnosis is no longer necessary.
The proposed legislation still requires royal assent and could be blocked by the UK government.
Secretary of State For Scotland Alister Jack told The Telegraph: “We share the concerns that many people have regarding certain aspects of this bill, and in particular the safety issues for women and children.”
“We will look closely at that and also the ramifications for the Equality Act and other UK-wide legislation.”
Critics say the proposal could threaten women’s rights, allowing men who self-identify as women to compete in women’s sports or request transfers to women’s prisons.
Many fear it will make it easier for sexual predators to change their gender.
The Christian Institute expressed its sadness over the passing of the bill.
Its Scotland Officer Nigel Kenny said: “The majority of MSPs chose to ignore women’s and teenage girls’ safety and ploughed on regardless with what former Scotland Labour leader Johann Lamont has rightly described as ‘one of the most dangerous and misguided bills in Holyrood’s history.'”
Author JK Rowling called it “the single biggest assault on the rights of Scottish women and girls in my lifetime.”
Spain’s lower house of parliament has just passed a similar law.
It voted 188 to 150 to allow Spaniards over the age of 16 to change their legally registered gender with a simple declaration.
Children aged 12 or 13 will need a judge’s authorisation to make the change, while those aged between 14 and 16 will have to be supported by their parents or legal guardians.
The Spanish Senate is expected to endorse the bill which could become law within weeks.