LGBTQ

Letters: Marsha de Cordova and the Equalities Act; On-the-spot strikes

My article last week referred to a tweeted comment by Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Marsha de Cordova, and her failure to respond to calls to apologise. It’s worth spelling out the detail. The Law Society had published some good guidance on how to support gender-transitioning employees. A transphobic response was published by a blog called “Roll on Friday”. It criticised the Law Society for saying transitioning employees should be able to use the toilet that they are comfortable using, saying that it meant abolishing “single sex spaces” and implying that it went against the Equality...

Rosie Duffield and trans backlash

It is a common misconception that the proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act threatened “single-sex spaces”, toilets, changing rooms, and meant that men just pretending to be women could access them. These fears are unfounded. The GRA has nothing to say about the use of toilets. The Equality Act 2010 already gives trans people the right to access services appropriate to their lived gender at any stage of their transition. Single sex services are only allowed to exclude trans people under exceptional circumstances, where there is a justifiable reason for doing so. Trans women have...

Kino Eye: dirty work in US politics

A film about the US elections seems only appropriate, and there’s much to choose from. In The Best Man (Frank J. Schaffner, 1964), liberal candidate William Russell (Henry Fonda) is up against loud-mouthed populist Joe Cantwell (based on Richard Nixon — actor Cliff Robertson) for the Presidential nomination of an unnamed party. There is much “dirty work at the crossroads”. Cantwell illegally obtains a psychiatric report on Russell and threatens to expose him. Russell hears evidence that Cantwell is a closet homosexual but he refuses to use this against him. Eventually, Russell withdraws and...

Uniformed police at Pride?

The Black Lives Matter movement has reignited the demand for an end to Police racism and racism across society, and given many a necessary reminder of the need to listen and learn from BAME people and to offer our solidarity. LGBT +people are now also asking once again: should uniformed police officers be invited to Pride marches? Pride began as a protest to remember the Stonewall Riots which took place in the US in 1969 when LGBT+ people at a bar called the Stonewall Inn had had enough of being bullied and harassed by homophobic police. Activists in the United Kingdom set up their own Pride...

Tories put lid on transgender rights

The Gender Recognition Act became law in 2004. It allows transgender people to apply for a “Gender Recognition Certificate”, and that allows a replacement birth certificate to be issued with the correct gender. But the process is lengthy and requires a medical report to confirm a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria”. If the applicant is married they also require consent from their spouse. In 2017 the government announced that they would consider reforming the Gender Recognition Act. Several countries had made changes to legislation that allowed trans people to self-identify. Those included Ireland...

Solidarity with women, LGBTIQ people, minorities in Poland!

Andrzej Duda of the radical right Law and Justice party has been re-elected as Poland’s president. Activists in London and beyond are showing solidarity with people persecuted and attacked by the Polish hard-right regime; for human rights, freedom, and dignity; and with those resisting and fighting back. See more information about a protest here: Saturday 15, 1pm, Polish Embassy in London.

Trans rights: keep up the argument

Recently we reported on a YouGov poll commissioned by PinkNews which found that women were significantly more likely than men to support trans rights. More broadly the results of the poll seemed like relatively good news for the cause of trans rights. According to that poll, men in the UK agree that “a person should... be able to self-identify as a gender different to the one they were born in” 43% to 33% (the rest say they don’t know). Women agree 57-21. The overall figure was 50-27 – though this was a slight decline from 2019. Shortly afterwards YouGov followed up with another poll with much...

The Momentum election, lying, hypocrisy and transphobia

The sweeping victory of the Forward Momentum slate in the Momentum national coordinating group election means that every candidate elected bar one signed the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights pledges. Candidates in the Momentum election supporting the Momentum Internationalists platform signed up to them, but criticised the pledge which suggests an emphasis on exclusions from the party rather than challenging transphobia in vigorous debate. Many candidates on the conservative left/Stalinist Momentum Renewal slate signed the LCTR pledges but four did not, for reasons that are worth paying...

Row over Labour slate

The new leadership of the Labour left group Momentum has faced criticism for endorsing all six candidates on the “Centre Left Grassroots Alliance” left slate for the Constituency Labour Party seats on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), despite failing to get a statement on trans rights supported by the slate as it said it would do. The elections are for 18 of 39 seats on the NEC, and are now in the nominations stage. That closes on 27 September, and balloting will be 19 October to 12 November. There was a genuine problem of timescale, with the new Momentum national coordinating group...

Poland: "Expect a fightback"

Andrzej Duda of the radical right Law and Justice party has been re-elected as Poland’s president, defeating the liberal conservative opposition’s candidate Rafał Trzaskowski 51%-49% in the second round. Ana Oppenheim spoke to Sacha Ismail about the election and struggles in Poland. Ana is a Polish-born socialist who lives in the UK. She is a member of the Labour Party and the Polish left party Razem, an activist in the Labour Campaign for Free Movement and has just been elected to Momentum’s national coordinating group. Poland was due to have its presidential election in May, but with the...

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