Please act. Encourage your MP to voice their opposition to potentially devastating legislative changes to The Equality Act that would destroy trans people's lives. Ask them to speak against this proposals in the Parliamentary debate on June 12th.
The government is shaping up to change The Equality Act 2010, in a move that - if they go through with it - will effectively remove trans people from UK society. Its logic is that of US 'Bathroom Bills' and the very worst hard-right US States like Florida (run by extremist Republican and Trump rival Ron DeSantis (someone much admired by Women and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, who, according to recent reports is keen to import DeSantis' entire 'anti-woke' programme into the UK). The UK government has been encouraged to make these changes by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission - a body that is supposed to 'advise' the government on equality law, but which since 2019 has had its leadership stuffed with figures dedicated to removing trans rights by the government. Possible changes, focusing on changing the definition of 'sex' in the act to 'biological sex', are being massaged as "clarifications" in the law (to a law that doesn't need clarifying and has worked fine for 12 years). Political bigotry has, of course, a long and putrid legacy of being concealed in the sneering language of 'administration' and bureaucracy so those affected can be called "hysterical", as the trans community is being. But trans people in the UK know what's coming down the line here, having lived with years of frenzied media hatred which is growing week by week (Click this link https://tinyurl.com/EHRCCalltoact to learn more about that EHRC advice, and what its implications are). We need you to act, please.
Especially if you are not trans.
Especially if you are a woman.
Your voice counts for more than ours now. Please reach out to your MP (their details can be found at www.theyworkforyou.com) by email. Please then make an appointment to see them to express your horror at these potential changes. Ask them to speak up for trans people in the debate on this in Parliament on June 12th. Below are seven arguments you can make. You may want to use some, or all, depending on who your MP is and their political stance. Keep in mind that whilst some of these arguments might resonate with you, and others not, it's the motivations and values of your MP that matter most here. Whilst the 'biggest' arguments here revolve around the unwarranted destruction of trans people's lives and the removal of rights that have been in place for decades, others might also speak to your MP's political priorities. Our impression is that whilst some MPs are well known 'gender critics' who have aligned with the most prejudiced and hostile of views, and some are, thankfully, committed allies, the majority of MPs remain relatively uninformed on the real issues at stake here. More and more they may be feeling that they need to become properly acquainted with this so-called 'debate'. This is a chance to help them understand the reality (we know also that groups which wish the trans community harm are energetically working to influence MP opinion on this, right now, including offering pro-forma letters to send. They will also be meeting MPs to lobby them).
THIS CHANGE WOULD BE DEEPLY UNFAIR AND COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY.
There is no 'trans crime wave' taking place. Trans women have been using women's single sex spaces and trans men using men’s, for decades – since long before the EA2010. These rights have been acknowledged in law since the 1990s and part of public policy for many years even before that. MPs should be suspicious of calls for 'clarity' now, when nothing has changed, when trans people have been given no new rights for over a decade and when the system (which already contains legal safeguards) is not broken - despite the hysterical sloganeering of the British press. ARGUMENT #2
IT WOULD DRIVE TRANS PEOPLE OUT OF BRITISH SOCIETY.
If the definition of sex was changed to ‘biological’ in the EA, trans people would effectively be removed from public society by not being able to use facilities like toilets that they’ve used without incident for years. Banned from the women’s toilet, trans women would not use the men’s because they would be humiliated and attacked there. Trans men would not use the women’s toilet and women wouldn’t want them there anyway. Where would they go? The disabled toilet? There aren’t enough of those for disabled people….and being trans isn’t a disability. In addition, not being able to use the right toilet at work would mean that they would also be driven out of the workplace and onto benefits – something no political party wants. Other outcomes would include forcing them to self-deport if they have the means, to find work in another country and to pay their taxes there. Many are starting to consider it already.
IT CONFLICTS WITH A BASIC LEGAL PRINCIPLE.
It conflicts with the basic legal principle of non-retrogression, under which rights (including human rights) should not be removed once granted. History does not look kindly on governments that have done this in the past. ARGUMENT #4 IT’S A TOTAL WASTE OF PARLIAMENTARY TIME.
It is a waste of Parliamentary time, even if the government attempts to use a more 'rapid' procedure like a Statutory Instrument (which would immediately be subject to Judicial Review proceedings). If Primary legislation is attempted it is extremely likely that this would become bogged down in Parliament, not least in the House of Lords.
There are so many other initiatives that the government needs to be taking right now to heal our broken society, including those that genuinely protect women and as called for by the many trans-inclusive feminist organisations.
ARGUMENT #5 IT WOULD ALIGN THE UK WITH THE MOST BIGOTED US STATE GOVERNMENTS.
There is a torrent of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation passing through US state legislatures at the moment - initiatives like changing the definition of sex to 'biological' (so-called 'bathroom bills') amongst them. https://www.aclu.org/legislative-attacks-on-lgbtq-rights MPs must understand that many of those who support changes to EA in the UK support many or all of these US initiatives too. Changes in the EA are absolutely not the end point for such people. As the conversation becomes even more extreme in the UK, many advocates of changes to the EA see this moment as a step towards the even deeper vilification, even elimination, of trans people here.
IT WOULD BE ANOTHER SIGNAL TO INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TO STAY AWAY FROM BRITAIN.
In an era in which the UK is desperate for foreign investment, such a move would signal to large international companies with diverse workforces that the UK is not a welcoming society. This happened in the US. When North Carolina attempted to introduce a 'bathroom bill' it led to a large and vocal exodus of major employers. The economic damage was so bad that the legislation was repealed a year later. The same now seems to be happening in Florida, Missouri and Texas.
ARGUMENT #7 CISGENDER WOMEN* WOULD FACE ABUSE AND HARASSMENT
*Cisgender or ‘cis’ simply means ‘not trans’
If you are a cisgender woman and you don’t conform to standard, patriarchal definitions of femininity, in how you look or how you dress, you could expect to be challenged, abused or harassed in a women’s toilet or changing room. You may be asked to
‘prove’ your assigned birth sex or your ‘biology’.
It’s already happening in the US and it has happened here. Thank you for supporting us. If you'd like to let us know what response you receive from your MP, please do get in touch. The TLP Team