Statement on the Shadow Women/Equalities Minister’s Comments

It is deeply disappointing for trans people to see our party’s Shadow Women and Equalities Minister sharing an article which contains transphobic comments and dog whistles; and mis-represents positive, trans-inclusive guidance from The Law Society.

The article incorrectly implies that transgender people are excluded from single-sex spaces under the Equality Act, when in fact those who are under the category of gender re-assignment, which is not dependent on legal sex, are also users of those spaces. The claim that this is not the case represents part of a campaign to roll-back trans rights by excluding us from these spaces. 

The guidance given by the Law Society is in fact an excellent template for legal trans-inclusion and we urge that the Labour Party adopt it as employers. Similar guidance has been employed successfully at universities, including the use of transition plans to support those who are still deciding what they wish to do and when.

This is not the first time that a Labour MP has shared transphobic content; however it is all the more painful to see from the Shadow Minister who is supposed to be supporting us instead sharing content which harms us. The claim that Labour is the “party of equality” cannot stand whilst hostile circumstances continue to prevail for trans members, and for trans people who look to Labour for hope that the oppression we face may be overcome.

We urge Marsha and the party leadership to issue a retraction and apology, and reiterate our offer to meet with them to discuss the continuing problem of transphobia in Labour. If such an apology is not forthcoming then we hope the zero-tolerance approach to bigotry that the Labour leadership has rightly claimed is properly applied.