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Major Protests Unite Trans Activists & Allies


Jenny Dean spoke for many people within the LGBTQIA+ community on Tuesday when she told a reporter for gay newswire for Pink News why she was attending a protest outside the gates of Downing Street. ““An issue that affects a tiny percentage of the population is not a big deal for the Tories in government - it’s just a way of diverting from the real issues in this country, which are the cost-of-living crisis, the right to protest, the attacks on our human rights.”  Ms Dean was speaking as trans people digested the fact that the Westminster government had decided to block gender reforms approved by the Scottish Parliament, reforms which are mostly about death, marriage and taxation, but which have prompted a fixated crusade amongst certain right wing media such as the Daily Telegraph about trans people’s access to public space. LGBTQIA+ lobbying group Stonewall, which was set up in 1988 at the height of a past Conservative government’s weaponisation of gay people’s right to exist, remarked “This is now a constitutional matter between the UK Government and the Scottish Government. It is a matter of grave and profound regret that the Prime Minister has allowed trans people’s lives to be used as a political football.” Well known human rights activist Peter Tatchell suggested that the Westminster government’s decision could in fact spark resistance from not just the LGBTQIA community but also from Scottish people who are outraged that their Parliament has been overridden in an unprecedented undermining of their soveriegnty. Mr Tatchell said “Tory veto of Scotland’s gender recognition bill is an attack on trans rights & Scottish democracy. It tears up devolution & is an attempt by Westminster to impose its will on Scotland. The Tory claim that the bill violates UK’s Equality Act is nonsense. It won't have negative consequences for 'equal pay' or 'single-sex spaces.' The Scottish bill explicitly states that it does not override any provisions in the Equality Act. This veto will rightly strengthen calls for Scottish independence”. The LGBT+ Network within the Green Party in England and Wales joined forces with the Rainbow Greens in Scotland, SDLP LGBT+ Group and the Alliance Party’s LGBT Group in sending a polite but firm letter to the Prime Minister, saying “The effect of a GRC - which is unchanged by this legislation - is to allow a trans person to change their birth certificate to their correct gender. The effect of this legislation is to allow them to do this in a shorter time with fewer administrative burdens. Birth certificates are not used as identification in day to day life and there are already easier processes available to change a passport or driving licence. The main use of a birth certificate is to allow marriage and death certificates to be recorded in the correct gender, ensuring the human dignity of trans people’s lives being accurately recorded”. Isabel Ringrose, writing in the left wing weekly paper Socialist Worker focussed on the democratic deficit underlined by the Sunak government’s course of action, writing:  “months of hostility included vicious protests from transphobes who wrongly claim the safety of women is at risk by any advancements for trans rights. Sunak claims it is ­“completely standard practice” to assess the impact of a new Bill. But never before has a British prime minister used Westminster’s power to stop a law passed by the Scottish parliament. So, alongside the brutal attacks on trans rights, he wants to throw a constitutional bomb. He would be stopping the clear will of Scotland’s devolved parliament”.  

Transgender Issues
LGBTQIA Activism
Green Party
Socialist Worker
Peter Tatchell
Right to Protest
The Right
Anti-LGBTQ Governments

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