RAINBOW Greens,  the LGBT+ wing of the Scottish Greens, have launched a petition which calls into question the future of the Bute House Agreement.

On Thursday, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde – the health board which runs Scotland’s only gender identity clinic for under-18s – announced that it would be pausing the prescription of puberty blockers to young people.

The service, which is based out of the Sandyford clinic in Glasgow, also said that new patients aged 16 or 17 would not be permitted to receive hormone treatments until they turned 18.

The announcement came following the publication of the independent Cass Review into gender identity healthcare for young people in NHS England last week.

Dr Hilary Cass’s report made a series of recommendations of what should change in trans healthcare for under-18s provided by the NHS in England – although it has been subject to criticism from some LGBT+ charities, organisations and academics.

READ MORE: How many young people in Scotland get puberty blockers?

At a protest organised by transgender people and allies in Glasgow’s George Square following NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s announcement, the Rainbow Greens echoed a statement released by the charity Scottish Trans, who said they believed it was “the wrong decision”.

“This decision has been taken within the context where the reality of trans people’s experiences and lives is questioned almost daily in some of the media and some political circles,” the statement said.

“This makes us worry that the decision has been influenced by that context rather than solely through consideration of the best interests of trans children and young people.”

Now, Rainbow Greens have published an open letter to Scottish Green party members calling for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to take place in order to discuss the future of the Bute House Agreement.

The National:

If it reaches 100 signatures the group will then seek to hold an EGM via the party’s national executive.

Speaking at the protest in Glasgow, Rainbow Greens co-convener Jen Bell said: “For years, gender affirming care has been shadow banned in Scotland due to lack of reform.

“Trans patients have been forced to languish on years-long waiting lists or go private at considerable expense.”

“In the Bute House Agreement the Scottish Government promised to dismantle the gatekeeper system and put trans patients at the heart of decisions on their own healthcare.

READ MORE: Puberty blocker prescriptions 'paused' in Scotland for under-18s

“Sandyford’s decision breaks that promise.”

“If the Government fails to keep its promises then the future of the Bute House Agreement is called into question, and the members will demand answers. Greens in Government would do well to take heed.”

The group has also called on the Health Secretary Neil Gray to commission Scotland’s own independent review on trans healthcare for young people provided by the NHS.

Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay said: “Trans rights are human rights, and we are very concerned about the decision announced by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the potential impacts it will have on young people.

“This was a clinical decision and not a Scottish Government one, and we are in close discussions with colleagues on how to resolve the issue and ensure the well-being of trans people is at the heart of our response.”