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Stonewall comments on Government's Trans Inquiry response

  • On 14 January 2016 the Women and Equalities Select Committee published its report on transgender equality. 
  • The report contained 35 recommendations in relation to a wide range of areas including cross-government strategy, the Gender Recognition Act 2004, the Equality Act 2010, NHS services and tackling everyday transphobia. 
  • Today, Thursday 7 July 2016, the government published its response.

Stonewall comment:

Stonewall believe that the Government has missed a significant opportunity to ensure that all trans and non-binary people are clearly protected under the Act. 

'We welcome today’s response from the Government on the recommendations laid out by the Women and Equalities Select Committee in the landmark inquiry into trans equality. In particular, we are pleased to see commitments to review the Gender Recognition Act and look forward to seeing a parliamentary timetable for review and reform in the current parliament.

The acknowledgement that gender dysphoria is not a mental illness is an important step forward, as is the recognition of non-binary identities and a commitment to reviewing how the NHS supports trans people. Furthermore, we agree that there is a need to develop a greater evidence base around the needs and experiences of trans people and communities.

However, we do not agree with the Government’s analysis that ‘gender reassignment’ is an appropriate protected characteristic in the Equality Act. Stonewall believe that the Government has missed a significant opportunity to ensure that all trans and non-binary people are clearly protected under the Act. The current legislation only protects those undergoing or considering gender reassignment.

Finally, we are disappointed to see that many of the Select Committee’s well-researched and comprehensive recommendations, have led to requests for further evidence and information. We believe the government has sufficient evidence, provided by a significant number of trans people, which means there is an opportunity for them to act now. Trans people have for too long suffered from inequalities that could easily be removed. We look forward to working with government and public sector bodies to achieve equality for all trans people.'