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Government backs exclusion of trans people from public spaces

Government backs exclusion of trans people from public spaces

Liz Bates

2 min read

The Government has said it will back the exclusion of some trans people from public spaces, such as changing rooms, toilets and swimming pools.  

The statement comes after a series of high-profile stunts in which campaigners claimed to self-identify as another gender in order to gain access to single-sex facilities.  

According to the Government Equalities Office “advancing the rights of trans people does not have to compromise women’s rights”.

It continued: “We are clear we have no intention of amending the Equality Act 2010, the legislation that allows for single-sex spaces.

“Any Gender Recognition Act reform will not change the protected characteristics in the Equality Act nor the exemptions under the Equality Act that allow for single and separate-sex spaces.”

“Providers of women-only services [can choose not to] provide services to trans individuals, provided it is objectively justified on a case-by-case basis.

“The same can be said about toilets, changing rooms or single-sex activities.

“Providers may exclude trans people from facilities of the sex they identify with, provided it is a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim.”

The intervention follows a petition launched by Amy Desir of feminist group Man Friday, which supports medical testing of people before they can be officially recognised as having changed gender.  

She said: “Handing out gender recognition certificates on demand removes safeguarding checks.

“You can’t tell the difference between someone with a need to live in their preferred gender and someone who’s there to prey on women.”  

Gay and trans rights group Stonewall said: “Trans people are subject to appalling levels of abuse in daily life and dehumanised by the way the current debate questions their very right to exist.

“This is unacceptable in Britain in 2018 and it demonstrates just why the Gender Recognition Act needs urgent reform.”

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