SCOTTISH Tory MSP Jamie Greene has said he WILL vote in favour of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill despite the majority of his colleagues opposing the move.

The MSP for the West of Scotland region is openly gay, and said he would back the reforms at the first stage because he “owes it” to the LGBT community.

Greene opened his contribution to the stage one debate by saying: “I know what it feels like to be told how you feel is just a phase or somehow be suppressed, or even worse you are immoral, delusional or mentally ill, destined to a life of misery.”

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The Tory MSP said he had been inundated with letters from those involved in the debate and said directly to trans people watching: “I hear you, I want to make things better for you, that's my commitment to you today.”

However Greene said he had certain reservations about the legislation in his current form, which will likely face a series of amendments when it makes its way to stage two.

He told the chamber: “I don’t envy the Scottish Government here but I also don’t have much sympathy for it, because they’ve managed to fuel so much anger on the sides of those who both support and oppose reform at the same time.

“Let me clear, outcomes for trans people in Scotland are shockingly poor - poor access to medical help, poor access to physical and mental health, high rates of suicide and self harm, and failure to tackle growing transphobia. This bill fixes none of that, maybe it should.”

Greene told MSPs that he does not believe “being trans is a mental illness”, adding: “No more than being gay is a mental illness.”

The Tory then pointed out that the UK Government had previously committed to remove the medical aspect of the process.

He added: “If it's good enough for Theresa May and Penny Mordaunt, then it's good enough for me.”

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Closing his contribution to the debate, Greene said: “Friends I will support the passage of this bill at stage one today because I owe it to a community which has given so much to me over the years and I urge colleagues to think very carefully how they vote.”

In a dig at SNP MSPs being whipped to vote for the legislation, Greene said: “Those of us who have been granted the personal freedom to make that choice for ourselves and those who are being whipped to party position, a position I do not envy.”