Nature

Transgender people can be banned from single-sex spaces in Britain

Single-sex spaces where transgender people cannot enter are perfectly legal, the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission has said.

In issuing advice on the increasingly contentious issue of single-sex safe spaces, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said on Monday that while the Equality Act states that companies cannot discriminate against people on “protected gender or gender reassignment characteristics,” he says there are some exceptions for single spaces.

The EHRC said organizations such as hospitals, retailers, hotel and sports clubs are all allowed to place boundaries on single-sex areas to limit them only to those born biologically, male or female, as long as the “reasons are justified and proportionate”.

These companies and organizations are also within their legal right to opt in to opening these spaces to anyone, the equality watchdog said.

Explaining the guidance, the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, said: ‘Where rights between groups compete, our duty as regulator independent is to help service providers and others balance the needs of different users in accordance with the law.

“Organizations are legally permitted to restrict services to only one gender in certain circumstances. But they need help navigating this sensitive area. That’s why we’ve published this guide – to clarify the law and uphold everyone’s rights.

The decision was welcomed by women’s rights activists, including feminist activist Maya Forstater, who Recount talkRadio on Tuesday that safe spaces for women were not introduced just for safety, but also for “dignity and privacy.”

“There is a demand from people who want to use services of the opposite sex to validate their sense that they are truly male or female and it is expected that they can do so,” said she declared.

Forstater claimed that in many cases, doctors told transgender people to try using single-sex spaces “to test if they could move around the world, but those doctors weren’t allowed to. revoke the consent of others”. .”

“We also go through our daily lives, and we’re not here to validate someone’s gender feelings, we’re trying to have our own dignity and privacy,” the activist concluded.

The advice on single-sex spaces has been criticized by the pro-Trans lobby, including the radical LGBTQ organization Stonewall, which claimed the EHRC statement would only “create more confusion”.

“It seems to go against the fundamental presumption of the law that inclusion should be the starting point, and shifts the focus to why trans people, and trans women in particular, can be ruled out,” the group said.

The EHRC’s advice did not extend to the issue of transgender prisoners, which has also become a core issue in the country.

Although the UK opened its first transgender inmate wing at a women’s prison in Downview in 2019, female trans inmates are still being placed among biologically female prison populations, despite concerns about inmate safety.

The UK Parliament was warned in 2015 by the then chairman of the UK Association of Gender Identity Specialists, Dr James Barrett, who said there was a “plethora of intelligence about prisons suggesting” that the “driving force” behind many gender transitions in prison was in order to make “later sexual offenses much easier”.

Despite this, the High Court ruled last year that biological men could be placed in women’s prisons if they identify as female. The country’s socialized health system also places transgender sex offenders in women’s hospital wards.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka




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