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Sunak plans to reduce the rights of Trans and non-binary people

It was reported last week that the PM plans to review the rights of Trans and non-binary people currently enshrined in the Equality Act 2010.

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Published 10 November 2022

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The report states the PM wants to bring in a slew of changes which would effectively remove legal protections for Trans and non-binary people. One of the potential changes would be to remove gender identity as a protected characteristic (referred to in the Equality Act as ‘gender reassignment’, now an out of date term).

The Equality Act is the main source of discrimination law in England, Scotland and Wales. It provides a legal framework for the protection and advancement of equality in the public sphere, in work, in education and in the provision of goods and services. It also places a positive duty on public bodies to consider how their decisions and policies affect those protected from discrimination under the Equality Act.

Gender identity is just one of nine protected characteristics, which also include age, disability, sexual orientation, race and religion or belief.

Removing gender identity from the Equality Act would be an unprecedented move. It could leave Trans and non-binary people open to discrimination without legal recourse. They could find themselves denied work, education and refused services because of their identity. Equally, the other proposed changes would put Trans and non-binary people at significant risk, especially trans women against whom much of the changes are targeted.

The very idea that Trans and non-binary people (or indeed any protected minority) could be stripped of their rights so easily is frightening. The announcement only adds to the distress and fear felt by an already beleaguered LGBTQ+ community.

Whether these changes will be enacted remains to be seen. Certainly the PM has no public mandate for them.

What is certain however is that Trans and non-binary people exist and deserve all the same rights enjoyed by the rest of the UK without exception.

Each year between 13 – 19 November people and organisations participate in Transgender Awareness Week to raise the visibility of Trans and non-binary people, and the issues they face. The week culminates with the Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November, in honour of trans people who lost their lives in acts of violence and prejudice.

For more information, visit our Discrimination law page.

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Shorter Reads

Sunak plans to reduce the rights of Trans and non-binary people

It was reported last week that the PM plans to review the rights of Trans and non-binary people currently enshrined in the Equality Act 2010.

Published 10 November 2022

Associated sectors / services

Authors

The report states the PM wants to bring in a slew of changes which would effectively remove legal protections for Trans and non-binary people. One of the potential changes would be to remove gender identity as a protected characteristic (referred to in the Equality Act as ‘gender reassignment’, now an out of date term).

The Equality Act is the main source of discrimination law in England, Scotland and Wales. It provides a legal framework for the protection and advancement of equality in the public sphere, in work, in education and in the provision of goods and services. It also places a positive duty on public bodies to consider how their decisions and policies affect those protected from discrimination under the Equality Act.

Gender identity is just one of nine protected characteristics, which also include age, disability, sexual orientation, race and religion or belief.

Removing gender identity from the Equality Act would be an unprecedented move. It could leave Trans and non-binary people open to discrimination without legal recourse. They could find themselves denied work, education and refused services because of their identity. Equally, the other proposed changes would put Trans and non-binary people at significant risk, especially trans women against whom much of the changes are targeted.

The very idea that Trans and non-binary people (or indeed any protected minority) could be stripped of their rights so easily is frightening. The announcement only adds to the distress and fear felt by an already beleaguered LGBTQ+ community.

Whether these changes will be enacted remains to be seen. Certainly the PM has no public mandate for them.

What is certain however is that Trans and non-binary people exist and deserve all the same rights enjoyed by the rest of the UK without exception.

Each year between 13 – 19 November people and organisations participate in Transgender Awareness Week to raise the visibility of Trans and non-binary people, and the issues they face. The week culminates with the Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November, in honour of trans people who lost their lives in acts of violence and prejudice.

For more information, visit our Discrimination law page.

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