No Parliamentary capitulation to transphobia, no government retreat on trans rights

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We the undersigned note that:

1.      In 2016 the all-party Women and Equalities parliamentary committee carried out a survey of trans rights and recommended 30 improvements, including amending the 2004 Gender Recognition Act to de-medicalise it and allow self-declaration in the application process to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate. This is already the legal practice in Ireland, Malta and Denmark.

2.      In mid-2017 both government and opposition parties signalled their support for these proposals (eg comments by Teresa May, Justine Greening, Jeremy Corbyn and others) and the government announced a consultation to take place last autumn.

3.      The consultation has not happened and there are reports that it has been delayed indefinitely or shelved as a result of a disgraceful and sustained transphobic campaign in the right wing press and on social media intended to whip up a moral panic and spread myths about trans people, particularly trans women, and trans rights. There have been many articles and posts implying that trans women are predatory ‘men in drag’ who want to invade women’s spaces. Apparently the issue is now seen as ‘complex’ and ‘divisive’.

4.      However, any delay or retreat in implementing these proposals feeds the transphobes’ toxic confidence and damages trans people’s lives and wellbeing.

We therefore demand that:

Parliament takes a clear stand against transphobia and in favour of full equality for trans people, including implementing the proposals from the Women and Equalities Committee;

The government should immediately convene the delayed consultation on the trans rights proposals with a view to their urgent implementation.

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