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Friday, Jan 15, 2021

You have one day to stop Boris scrapping Gender Recognition Act reforms

A charity is calling on the public to urge Boris Johnson not to scrap ‘much-needed’ reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.
On Sunday, it was reported that the Prime Minister is preparing to drop proposed changes which would allow transgender people to self-identify. At present, anyone wishing to transition must go through a complex process which can take more than five years to complete.

A report by the Sunday Times also said Johnson was planning a crackdown on ‘quack doctors’ so that only ‘reputable medics’ can give approval on who transitions, while new protections are to be put in place to safeguard female-only spaces, such as refuges and toilets

The proposals have been heavily criticised for ‘rolling back’ transgender rights amid pride month. Now trans-lead charity Gendered Intelligence has warned that anyone wishing to speak out against the plans has until June 17 to make their case.

They are now urging the public to contact Johnson before the day ends and have created a template letter to the PM that people can sign. A spokesperson said: ‘The threat of rollbacks to trans rights, dignity, and legal protections in the UK cannot be overstated.

‘This is an issue of human rights, and of bodily autonomy and integrity. If we allow trans young people to be stripped of their agency to make decisions around their healthcare and around which toilets they’re legally allowed to use, next on the chopping block will be wider rights around access to abortion and contraception.

‘A loss to trans youth is a loss for all. Excluding trans women from women’s spaces would be a huge step in the wrong direction, and a monumental loss to the UK’s proud human rights record.’

The charity said they had already seen more than 1,500 people use the letter as they also advised people to contact their local MPs as well.

Trans rights have been at the forefront of public discussion in recent weeks after Harry Potter author JK Rowling published an open later arguing that allowing people to self-identify would put women and girls at risk.

In response, charity Mermaids UK, which supports trans and gender diverse children, dismissed her claims as ‘unproven, inflammatory and untrue’. Discussing the government’s plans to scrap the reforms, a spokesperson said that transgender people just want to be ‘allowed dignity, safety and respect’.

The charity questioned how facilities will be able to check the gender of occupants and whether women will now be asked to carry ID that ‘proves their sex’. They continued: ‘None of this sounds remotely progressive and none of it sounds like the empowerment of women.

‘The sad truth as we see it – and we can only state this in plain terms – is that the “concern” being expressed by lobbyists, without basis or evidence, is nothing more than anti-trans bigotry dressed in outdated feminist clothing. Nobody who believes in equality would seek to enforce the segregation of trans people and the introduction of further obstacles to all women.’

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds also called on Johnson to listen to trans people during an interview with Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday. He said: ‘What I think we need to look at in this space is what trans people actually think and say to us.

‘I think trans rights are human rights, I’ve said that before. I would listen very carefully going forward in what is an extremely sensitive area. I’m not sure the government scrapping plans and then leaking it out in a newspaper is the way to deal with this. I think we need a much better way going forward that is sensitive, seeks consensus and respects everybody’s rights.’

A spokesperson for Downing Street said a report on the Gender Recognition Act had not yet been finalised and added that the PM will have the ‘final say on recommendations’.
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