Women and Equalities minister Liz Truss, told the Commons that the government “will not be rolling back trans rights” after postponing amendments to the Gender Recognition Act over the summer.
Truss stated that trans people should be able to live their lives “without fear”, stating that trans rights will advance, not regress, once the finding of the questionnaire is aired “over the summer”.
As ‘I News’ report, Labour MP Nadia Whittome asked when it will publish the delayed results of the Gender Recognition Act consultation, which was launched in 2018. The consultation examined the way trans people identify, the legal difficulties surrounding changing gender, and more topics affecting gender non-conforming people.
The MP for Nottingham East said: “Successive Conservative equalities ministers have repeatedly stalled on publishing the results of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) consultation. Leaked reports of a potential rollback on trans rights have understandably caused alarm. With hate crimes against trans people up nearly 40 per cent on last year, does Ms Truss agree that her quibbling on this issue is fanning the flames of populist hate towards an already marginalised group?”
Ms Truss responded: “As the Prime Minister said we will be responding to the consultation over the summer, and let me be absolutely clear – we will not be rolling back the rights of transgender people. It is important that transgender people are able to live their lives as they wish without fear and we’ll be making sure that is the case.”
LGBT+ charities and activists have welcomed the news, although Stonewall’s chief executive Nancy Kelley said that the trans community “can’t afford complacency” and further delays on the reforms.
“It’s frustrating that the Government has missed their original deadline to announcing their plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act by recess and will now respond ‘over the summer.’ Trans people are being asked to wait for equality that is long overdue,” she said. “For more than three years, trans people have been waiting to hear how the Government would fulfil its promise of GRA reform. During this time, waiting times for gender identity healthcare services have increased, hate crimes against trans people have trebled, and trans people’s identities are being debated in the media and online on a daily basis. So the fact that the Government has missed their own deadline, after so much media speculation, will be a bitter blow for trans communities and allies.
“Reforming the GRA would make it easier for trans people to go about their daily life, by making it less complicated to update their birth certificate to reflect who they are. This helps make life admin easier, like being able to get married and have the right gender on your marriage certificate, and it means that, as a trans person, your gender is clearly recognised by the state,” she added.
A spokesperson for Gendered Intelligence has “welcomed the Minister’s assuaging comments that the government is not minded to actively pursue any rollbacks to legal protections for trans people.”
“We’re still acutely mindful that many obstacles remain in place for trans people – including the potential of a ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ allowing trans conversion practice by the backdoor,” the trans-led charity said. “We will be keeping a watchful eye on what the Government puts out by way of policy in the coming months, as we can’t afford complacency. We want to thank the over 45,000 people who wrote to the Prime Minister through our #TrusstMe campaign.”
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