Nicola Sturgeon has promised to review and reform gender recognition law for transgender people as part of a series of commitments on LGBTI equality.
The First Minister said that one of her top priorities if she wins May’s Holyrood elections will be to review Scotland’s gender recognition laws to ensure they are in line with “international best practice”.
Campaigners said this would mean allowing Scots to change the gender on their birth certificate using a simple self-declaration that they consider themselves to be of the opposite sex. Children under 16 would also be allowed to do this but would require the permission of their parents.
Labour, the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Scottish Greens also back greater rights and support for LGBTI people.
Scottish Labour said its manifesto would pledge to remove the psychiatric diagnosis requirement from legal gender recognition.
The Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens have called for teachers to be better equipped to deal with LGBTI issues.
Scotland was last year rated the best country in Europe in terms of legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
Under her plans, all new guidance and promoted teachers would also undertake training on equality so they could tackle prejudice-based bullying in schools.
Ms Sturgeon said young people should be supported to make informed choices about their gender and sexual identity.
In addition, she said all police officers will receive appropriate training on the investigation of hate crime.
Ms Sturgeon said she was proud that Scotland had made “significant progress” on LGBTI equality in recent years, with the country having legalised gay marriage in February 2014.
She added: “I am hopeful that in the next Scottish Parliament we can build as much consensus on LGBTI issues as we did in this session – and take another leap forward for equality.”
The Scottish Transgender Alliance said the review of gender recognition law could allow young people to legally change their gender, with their parents’ support if they are under 16.
But the Free Church of Scotland moderator, Rev David Robertson, warned against “destroying the traditional idea of gender”.
He added: “We believe that this will result in confusion and brokenness amongst our children rather than fulfilled potential.”