A Scottish man was convicted this week of raping two women. Prior to his trial, he began identifying as female. While he changed his name and put on a wig, he held onto his manhood and his capacity to reoffend. Nevertheless, after his conviction, he was sent to an all-women's prison.
This decision, consistent with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's LGBT agenda and the corresponding radical legislation she has helped to advance, has proved intolerable to the British public and has since been reversed.
What's the background?
31-year-old Adam Graham, who now calls himself Isla Bryson, raped his first victim on Sept. 16, 2016, in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire. He raped another woman on June 27, 2019, in Drumchapel, Glasgow.
The Telegraph reported that the rapist "transitioned" after being accused of the second sexual assault. Bald, muscular, and decorated with face tattoos, this transition apparently consisted of the rapist throwing on a blonde wig and some lipstick, although he claims to be taking hormones.
When asked about whether he would have his genitals removed, the rapist stated, "I obviously want all the surgery that the NHS can provide."
Paulette Hamilton, a Labor member of parliament, said, "We have to respect that he is transitioning to a woman."
Scottish Tory community safety spokesman Russell Findlay said, "This rapist decided that he was no longer a man only after appearing in court on a rape charge."
"We now have the utterly perverse situation where a Scottish court refers to someone who says he identifies as female using 'her penis' to rape two vulnerable women," Findlay added. "We warned of the inevitability of this happening if the SNP’s gender self-ID law passed, but for it to have become reality is deeply worrying and an affront to the victims."
The Scottish National Party, helmed by Sturgeon, passed the "Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill" in December, enabling Scots "of either gender [to] apply to the Registrar General for Scotland for a gender recognition certificate on the basis of living in the other gender," without obtaining or providing a medical diagnosis for gender dysphoria.
Sturgeon's so-called reforms would also cut the duration a person must live in their "acquired gender" from two years to roughly six months.
LGBT activist groups hailed this as a "big step forward."
The U.K. conservative government vetoed the bill, enraging Sturgeon, who tweeted in reply that the veto constituted a "full-frontal attack on our democratically elected Scottish Parliament and its ability to make its own decisions on devolved matters."
Sturgeon made clear that she would go to great lengths to save her so-called reforms, reported the Telegraph.
The British government's minister for Scotland, Alister Jack, suggested that such so-called reforms might create "significant complications" and lead to "more fraudulent or bad faith applications," reported Time magazine.
Although Sturgeon's legislation is presently in limbo, Scottish institutions already go to great lengths to accommodate transsexuals.
Since 2014, the Scottish Prison Service allows convicts, per its gender identity policy, to be located corresponding with the "new gender in which they are living" on a case to case basis.
The Times reported that half of transsexual inmates in SPS facilities began their "transition" after they were convicted.
Graham, now Bryson, was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow on Jan. 24. His sentencing will take place on Feb. 28.
The male rapist was reportedly sent to HMP Cornton Yale, an all-women's prison in Stirling.
The rapist's estranged wife Shonna Graham told MailOnline that the convict's transition was a "sham for attention," and that he was "bullsh****** the authorities" to avoid being incarcerated with other men.
Joana Cherry, a Scottish politician who chairs the Joint Committee on Human Rights, told Times Radio, "To many people, it will look like this convicted rapist has gamed the system in order to try and garner sympathy and to end up in a women's prison. ... Women in prison are very vulnerable. Many women in prison have themselves been abused and have suffered injuries over the years."
Cherry added, "I'm very concerned about the safety of women prisoners, with whom a convicted rapist has been placed."
Rachael Hamilton, a conservative member of the Scottish parliament, tweeted, "The Isla Bryson case confirms our worst fears about predatory men gaining access to women’s spaces. Nicola Sturgeon didn’t listen to the warnings from experts, academics, witnesses or women’s groups during the passage of the gender self-ID Bill."
Transitioning from women's to men's prison
The backlash evidently proved too much to manage.
Sturgeon, who previously said she stands "full-square behind trans people," announced Thursday, "Given the understandable public and parliamentary concern in this case, I can confirm to Parliament that this prisoner will not be incarcerated at Cornton Vale women’s prison."
The SNP leader and staunch transsexual activist conceded that it was imprudent to have a male rapist incarcerated in a female prison, reported the Guardian.
However, Sturgeon ultimately pinned the decision on the SPS, claiming, "The Scottish Prison Service is in the process of giving effect to the decision it has taken not to incarcerate this prisoner in Cornton Vale."
Scottish Ccnservative leader Douglas Ross characterized the decision as a "screeching U-turn."
Ross noted that the warrant issued by the court had called for the rapist to be sent to a men's prison in Glasgow, however, this was reportedly overruled by the SPS.
The Express reported that prison bosses referenced guidance from Sturgeon's party stating that transsexual convicts should be sent to prisons corresponding to their sex they identify with.
"We need to know why the Scottish Prison Service, which is accountable to SNP ministers, chose to overrule the court’s recommendation that this person ought to be sent to Barlinnie," said Ross.
When pressed by Ross on the subject, Sturgeon said, "There is no automatic right for a trans woman convicted of a crime to serve their sentence in a female prison, even if they have a gender recognition certificate. Every case is subjected to rigorous individual risk assessment and as part of that the safety of other prisoners is paramount."
Sturgeon tempered her admission with the claim that it is important "that we do not even inadvertently suggest that somehow trans women pose an inherent threat to women."
Ross asserted that "the reality is that Nicola Sturgeon wants to make it easier for brutes like this to legally change gender for their own cynical ends. Yet her refusal to answer this question leaves her self-ID policy in total disarray."
Susan Smith, a director with the nonprofit For Women Scotland, told the Telegraph, "The fact that sending a convicted rapist to a women’s jail would even be considered shows how mad this has all become."
"Only last month, the Scottish Government refused to entertain the possibility of refusing to allow men accused of rape attempting to seek a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC)," said Smith. "This case indicates that predatory and abusive men will stop at nothing to manipulate courts and torture victims. Had this man been able to acquire a GRC, there would have been greater protections around the identity of the accused."
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