Tuesday 4th of April – sixteen minutes after 2:00 PM and in pops a “message” in my mailbox from Marcial Boo, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
In a classic move by Kemi Badenoch – she, who “reigns” over “Equality”, succeeded in creating a problem when one doesn’t exist. And unsurprisingly, the EHRC, with a board loaded by her government with like-minded people, duly obliged.
Ms Badenoch has decided that there is a need to define “sex” to operate the Equality Act 2010 effectively. This, too, is farcical because the “need” can’t be established – the courts are far from overrun by legal cases where the Equality Act is unclear.
And how do you define “sex”? That’s an argument in itself. Genitals, gonads or chromosomes? People who are intersex? People who have gained or lost body parts? When and how?
And what about those who are trans because taking gender-affirming hormones does work – establishing that being trans is a biological condition?
And just who is going to be the “gatekeeper”?
And I agree with my friend Prof. Stephen Whittle OBE PhD saying via his Twitter thread:
“The Eq Act is not about balancing rights. The introduction printed on the Act says exactly what it is about – bringing together all previous legislation, ending discrimination, harassment & victimisation, & promoting equal opportunities. The provisions provide for those who have a protected characteristic from arbitrary & unjust discrimination that causes loss, harassment & victimisation in employment, education, & associations or when accessing goods, services, housing & facilities. The Act also creates a (non-enforceable) public sector duty to promote equal opportunities – and a few other things. But nowhere is there any discussion of balancing. (Balancing rights is the job of the Council of Europe – on which the UK has its seats – & the Court of Human Rights).
But to the nub – the recommendation that sex is defined as biological sex. I assume everyone will have to carry a bio-sex ID card. If not everyone, then that is in itself contrary to the Act – it will be discriminatory, & it will promote discrimination.”
In reply to the “Equalities”, Minister Kishwer Falkner, the EHRC Chair, makes more excuses to validify their response than a naughty child caught nicking sweets from the sweet shop.
Classic is her ramblings about single-sex spaces saying:
For instance, a hospital might run several women-only wards. At present, the starting point is that a trans woman with a GRC can access a ‘women-only’ service.
This I know for a fact.
In the last two years, I have made 102 Freedom of Information requests to NHS Foundation Trusts, asking how many complaints they had received from females that a trans woman was in a female ward. My enquiries covered two years and three months.
There were no complaints.
Not so surprising, really, because doctors and hospitals treat by a medical condition, not sex. Trans men have babies in the Maternity department, not the urology department.
In principle, the EHRC’s stance is a blatant attack on the trans community and the human rights of a minority group, and this is not the first time since Falkner became Chair.
But it’s not just the trans community that could be affected. Masculine-looking females, often lesbians, already have problems sharing female spaces, especially toilets. Again we come back to the issue of gatekeeping and how?
Will butch lesbians carry sex- IDs around their necks or have to drop their knickers to prove their “sex”?
And will trans men, with beards and deep masculine voices, be welcome in the ladies? A sex offender’s dream – he won’t even have to pretend he’s a woman!
Even more so, it would be how we look and pass.
At the start of this blog, I used the word Farcical twice, and it all is.
The Conservative Party are simply trying to create an issue for the next election. The issue of “protecting women”.
Protecting “what of”… I really don’t know, but sure as hell, it’s not sex offenders.