Say No to Dangerous Gender Identity Bill
In December 2016, Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, presented the Gender Identity (Protected Characteristic) Bill 2016-2017, which seeks
“to make gender identity a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 in place of gender reassignment and to make associated provision for transgender and other persons; and for connected purposes.”
The change was needed, we are told, because “current wording is outdated and confusing”. So it seems that the solution is to update the terms so that they are significantly more confusing.
Previously, the protected characteristic was “gender reassignment” which referred to someone having undergone some kind of physical change to "become" the opposite sex. The proposed change to “gender identity”, although minor on the face of it, is a profound and far reaching change.
According to the ideology being advanced here, “gender identity” is one’s subjective perception of their own gender as distinct from their objective sex.
Given the inherently subjective nature of “gender identity”, having it as a “protected characteristic is a very dangerous thing. This is primarily because determining someone’s “gender identity” at least as far as the law is concerned, seems to rely exclusively on their word. So when a man self identifies as a woman, it is his word that he is really a “she” that is the determining factor.
We should be concerned about this law for several reasons:
1. It is open to serious abuse. Of course there are some people who genuinely consider themselves to be the gender that they are not and such persons have the same dignity as everyone else and should be treated with the same respect. Yet there are some people who would seek to take advantage of this law.
For example, one can easily imagine a man who self identifies as a woman in order to gain access to a women’s changing facility at a public swimming pool. His gender identity would be a “protected characteristic” and it might be illegal for the pool to remove this man from the women's changing room.
Again, while there may be some who are genuinely confused about their gender and this law might in some way help, there will be people who abuse it, and it seems that there is no way for the law to account for this.
In this way then, it poses a serious danger for women and children
2. Whether or not there is nefarious intent, many people rightly do not think it appropriate for a member of the opposite sex (whatever their "gender identity") to enter a changing room not of their sex when it is in use. This is a serious violation of privacy.
3. It undermines the basic notion of equality before the law. Some people, because of a “protected characteristic” are given preferential treatment and therefore not treated equally by the law.
4. This legislation is enforcing a particular, extremely controversial, view of the nature of men and women on the whole of society. As the state does not enforce one particular religious or philosophical worldview, so it should not enforce one particular view about what it means to be a man or woman on the whole of society.
Please sign this petition to Maria Miller, asking her to reconsider this ill thought through legislation.
Sign this petition now!
Regarding the Gender Identity (Protected Characteristic) Bill 2016-2017