PLANS to reform gender recognition laws in Scotland will not be discussed by SNP members at the party’s annual conference in October.

It is understood a number of motions were submitted to party bosses on the subject for consideration but none has been selected for the event’s draft agenda.

A proposal by the Scottish Government to change gender recognition laws to allow people to self-declare their gender, rather than requiring medical evidence, prompted months of fraught internal debate. Last month Shirley Anne Somerville, the Equalities Secretary, postponed an update of gender recognition laws amid concerns the proposals failed to address concerns about the impact on women and girls using single-sex spaces.

Somerville said she would launch new consultations to ensure that anxieties that women and girls could be at risk of predatory men or lose access to single-sex services were properly addressed. She said the Scottish Government was determined to update the legal rights of trans men and women, with a simpler, quicker process to allow people to get a new gender recognition certificate through self-declaration.

READ MORE: Scots transgender reforms delayed after backlash from women's groups

Ministers wanted to allow trans men and women to get a certificate six months after starting to live in their acquired gender, after signing a legally binding statutory declaration.

They could apply after living in their acquired gender for three months and get their certificate after a further three months’ “reflection period”. At present applicants must live in their acquired gender for at least two years and provide psychiatric and medical reports. It had been planned that these requirements would be dropped.

Somerville had heard accounts “of the anxiety and trauma the current process causes trans people and the difference that reform of the law would make to their ability to live their lives with dignity and acceptance”. There was transphobia which needed to be challenged, she said.

“However, I am acutely aware of how divided opinion is on this issue and I want to proceed in a way that builds maximum consensus and allows valid concerns to be properly addressed,” she said. “Some of the public arguments about this area had been toxic,” she added.

Instead of pushing through a new Gender Recognition Act, the Government will now commission new assessments to ensure the new measures did not damage other people’s rights.

Critics of the Scottish Government’s handling of these reforms included some SNP MSPs. The equalities impact assessment will be published this summer alongside a new draft Gender Recognition Bill which would be put out to consultation.