Neale Hanvey: Equality Act must urgently be amended to restore sex-based rights as bound to biology
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This drive took a troubling turn on November 1 when the inner house of the Court of Session ruled that the definition of sex in law is no longer bound to biological reality. As of that date any trans-identifying male with a gender recognition certificate is now female. There’s no requirement for surgery, just a piece of paper is sufficient.
The ease of this legal fiction is a central concern of opponents to the Scottish Government’s Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Act which seeks to make it even easier for any male to ‘self-ID’ and legally become a woman by filling in a simple form.
Such a process would have ensured double rapist Adam Graham, better known as Isla Bryson, was accommodated alongside vulnerable female prisoners, and silenced any public outcry.
The ruling has significant ramifications for everyone because no one can now be defined with any precision in law. Long understood expressions like ‘the opposite sex’ now include people of the same sex and vice versa.
This delivers the chaos to equalities law I warned about during June’s Westminster Hall debate on the legislative definition of sex.
The ruling effectively erases women as a sex class and renders their sex-based rights redundant.
And if sex is not bound to biology, same-sex attracted LGB rights are now equally meaningless. The ruling also means it is illegal for women, lesbians and gay men to form associations of more than 24 members without permitting trans identifying members of the opposite sex into their groups. The women or lesbian with a penis, now has more rights than natal females.
But it’s not all plain sailing for the Scottish Government’s as the ruling may prove fatal to their appeal against the UK Government’s block on their GRR Act, because it has now utterly demolished their central contention that GRR has no material effect on the Equality Act. Newsflash - it does.
The Equality Act must urgently be amended to restore sex-based rights as bound to biology, but for how long? It is increasingly clear that any UK Labour government intend to usher in the same gender based policies as the SNP. It’s now beyond doubt, if equalities legislation is to protect anyone, it must be able to effectively describe everyone.
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