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Is it legal for a man to use the women's toilet in England? Scotland?

(188 Posts)
SerciteEland Mon 15-Jan-18 17:31:43

If not, can someone please point me to where I can find text of the law regulating this? I've tried searching here to no avail: www.legislation.gov.uk/search

I was always under the impression that it WAS illegal for a man to enter the women's room but now I'm not so sure and it seems a rather hard thing to search for.

I assume it must be since apparently a reading of the 2010 Equality Act has been invoked to allow transgender women to use the women's room. www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-36395646

www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/19

But I can't seem to find the original law prohibiting men from being in the ladies'.

Further, I've only really started to pay attention to the trans issue within the last few years (first as an ally from 2011-2014 and thereafter becoming progressively more and more gender critical after hitting peak trans in 2014/15) and I somehow entirely missed that it's now apparently legal for trans women to be in the women's bathrooms. Does anyone have links to good information on how this happened (focused on the UK)? And have there been any documented abuses of it so far?

Sexequality Sun 12-Jan-20 10:38:33

You are legally entitled to set aside spaces for women but how, as the space owner, are these legally enforced? (Assuming asking someone to leave doesn’t work). Would it have to be trespass in which case civil action? Presumably as a space user you could claim harassment against the space owner, and possibly sex discrimination?

Tanith Sun 12-Jan-20 09:53:15

“ Good grief, people still say "haters"?”

Yep!

“Haters gonna hate” 🙄 All over MLM groups, it is. Good for the brainwashing...

Ereshkigal Sun 12-Jan-20 09:32:22

Is there? How would anyone know about those things when they see someone who looks male going into a women's toilet?

Realistically, if and when a discrimination case comes to court. those things are likely to be considered as a factor in whether a service provider could reasonably exclude the male person from a toilet, even though the service provider is unlikely to know about these things and they aren't required for "gender reassignment" under the EA. Legal experts have said this.

The service provider is risking litigation/fines etc. The exemption is there and if women's rights to privacy and dignity were considered more important it would mean that anyone obviously male could be excluded whether they possibly had a GRC or not. But realistically, at this moment in time, they aren't considered as important as a "genuine" MTF trans person's right to "live as a woman".

This is a significant problem with the legislation and it's why Stonewall etc and up to a point the EHRC have gone about saying that an MTF trans person legally cannot be excluded from female toilets.This is a lie, but in reality the law makes it difficult to do so.

I think other women's spaces are more clear cut. Changing rooms where people are naked for instance. Gyms where people need to register so they could be asked for a birth certificate and then excluded from female only spaces and services.

Ereshkigal Sun 12-Jan-20 09:04:05

I have a trans daughter and she has been using the women's toilets for years without incident. She will continue to do so despite the best efforts of bigoted Terfs like you. Fuck you're hatred.

Didn't take long for you to show your true colours, did it?

GirlDownUnder Sun 12-Jan-20 02:32:09

Libfem37 if you want your posts to stand, I suggest you read the mod’ing sticky at the top of FWR.

I doubt a FWR poster will report you for posting infractions, but a bored board monitor might.

scotsheather Sun 12-Jan-20 00:58:35

I wonder if a bathroom bill would pass in the UK. It was good enough for North Carolina and possibly other states.

StrangeLookingParasite Sun 12-Jan-20 00:51:28

I have a trans daughter and she has been using the women's toilets for years without incident.

Why do you think that might be?

CharlieParley Sun 12-Jan-20 00:36:48

Also, there was a case 6 years ago when a trans woman was ejected from the women's toilets in a pub. She was post op and had a grc: the court found in favour of the claimant.

That case was decided in this way because EHRC statutory guidance (which has legal force) misrepresented the Equality Act provisions. The EHRC have since quietly changed the parts of the guidance in question and it is highly unlikely that the case would have the same outcome now.

So to answer the threads question, trans women can use women's toilets.

No. As per your own words directly above, the only males who could possibly be considered to be legally allowed into a female-only facility are those who have a GRC, ie whose legal sex is now female.

Males who identify as trans, who are not in possession of a GRC (in other words, males whose legal sex remains male), have no right whatsoever to use female-only facilities.

Libfem37 Sat 11-Jan-20 23:47:10

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

OldCrone Sat 11-Jan-20 23:44:38

Plus there is going to be a higher bar for GRC holders and for people who have had surgery, on a case by case basis.

Is there? How would anyone know about those things when they see someone who looks male going into a women's toilet?

Libfem37 Sat 11-Jan-20 23:42:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Ereshkigal Sat 11-Jan-20 23:32:02

She was post op and had a grc: the court found in favour of the claimant. So to answer the threads question, trans women can use women's toilets.

That was a more complicated case than how you are representing it. The MTF person was banned from the pub which is more clear cut discrimination. Plus there is going to be a higher bar for GRC holders and for people who have had surgery, on a case by case basis.

You may be interested to know that the EHRC actually removed the text saying that a trans person could not be asked to use another toilet than the sex they identified as from one of their guidance documents for service providers, following pressure from feminist groups in 2018.

LangCleg Sat 11-Jan-20 23:08:19

Good grief, people still say "haters"?

Libfem37 Sat 11-Jan-20 23:07:00

then you'd better make sure gender self id does not go ahead. This ridiculous notion of self Id and changing the gender recognition act has caused a shit storm and no one is better off for it. hopefully, the gender recognition act reforms will just die off and we can all get on with our lives.

StrangeLookingParasite Sat 11-Jan-20 23:01:37

I am not suggesting that males trans or otherwise should be given free reign to enter female spaces

Except that this is what they have, effectively. Certainly if self-id goes through it will be completely unrestricted.

Libfem37 Sat 11-Jan-20 22:56:42

dear haters, I'm well informed on the equality act and I am not suggesting that males trans or otherwise should be given free reign to enter female spaces. Also, there was a case 6 years ago when a trans woman was ejected from the women's toilets in a pub. She was post op and had a grc: the court found in favour of the claimant. So to answer the threads question, trans women can use women's toilets. Finally, the best solution is simply a room with a toilet in it like the bathrooms in our own homes.

CallofDoodee Sat 11-Jan-20 11:00:53

I'm astonished that people actually think that

Males and females use your bathroom at home.

Is some kind of valid argument on this issue?! 😂

CharlieParley Sat 11-Jan-20 10:54:56

Just because a number of organisations and companies are reluctant to correctly apply the available sex-based exemptions does not mean they do not exist and cannot be applied.

Here are some examples for perfectly legal exclusion of the other sex:

The Men's Shed movement
A father and baby group
A women's rights group
Brothers in Arms, Scotland's first mental health charity just for men
A domestic refuge for women
Counselling for female rape victims
Toilets, changing rooms, hospital wards, prisons, dormitories, sleeper cabins
A holiday centre for women and their children
A support group for bereaved men
A committee at work dedicated to improving women's equality
A room dedicated solely for the use of breastfeeding mothers in an office building
A women-only swim or gym session
A festival celebrating women's empowerment
A women's library

Etc etc etc

Countless examples exist beyond those I listed. All provided for in law.

If it was up to me, I would change the law so that one would have to opt out of single-sex provision and could do so only after showing through thorough Equality Impact Assessments (EQIAs) and Children's Rights Impact Assessments (CRIAs) that doing so will be better for protected groups.

CharlieParley Sat 11-Jan-20 10:36:13

Dear me, Libfem37 you are all kinds of misinformed, aren't you?

The Government Equalities Office clarified in correspondence last year that in line with the Equality Act 2010 as written, exclusion does not happen on a person-by-person case but on a circumstance by circumstance case. If the reason for offering a single-sex provision is proportionate and legitimate, I can blanket ban all males, regardless of their identity.

If for instance I run a refuge for female victims of male violence, I can legally exclude all males because this is a legitimate aim and a proportionate means.

If I offer female-only and male-only changing rooms, I can blanket ban people from using the facilities set aside for the opposite sex.

That's because preserving dignity and privacy is a legitimate aim, which is noted in the EqA and explicitly stated in statutory code.

midgebabe Sat 11-Jan-20 09:35:34

I don't think it's been tested at all in the uk anyway as to what is legally appropriate. And such a testing would have to be repeated if the law was to change to self ID, because a lot of women respond differently towards people with medically certifiable gender dysmorphia than they do towards people without that severe mental problem

With toilets and changing areas we must surely be ensuring that trans can participate fully and comfortably and ensuring that women can participate fully and comfortably

If a significant number of women are excluded from some activities due to say PTSD being triggered by being in a vulnerable position in the presence of a male body, would it be fair and proportionate to look for another solution? What would you say would class as a significant number? or in your opinion is that irrelevent compared to the trans persons Feelings?

HorseWithNoTimeForThis Sat 11-Jan-20 09:19:01

"Libfems" prioritise men over women. It's should be called feminism-lite or men's rights feminism.

It's basically fucking useless.

Libfem37 Sat 11-Jan-20 09:12:47

The key word is a proportionate means of a legitimate aim. An individuals mere existence does not meet that legal standard. The legal standard is actually a very high bar to reach and usually applies to refuges , prisons and female sports where a degree of exclusion may be considered reasonable.

CharlieParley Sat 11-Jan-20 00:05:16

The equality act does not give you or anyone else the right to reject a trans woman from female toilets without just cause, ie threatening or inappropriate behaviour.

It does actually, explicitly. Schedule 3, Part 7 (F11), sub sections 26 to 28 set out that persons of one sex can be legally excluded from spaces or services provided to the other sex even if they fall under the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

And not only that, the law also makes it clear that a person without a GRC has no right whatsoever to access services provided on a single-sex basis to members of the opposite sex. A person with a GRC may still be excluded if doing so is a proportionate means to a legitimate aim.

And privacy as well as dignity are covered in the Equality Act (subsection 27, condition 6, clause b) which allow the exclusion of a person of one sex from opposite sex facilities and services if:

the circumstances are such that a person of one sex might reasonably object to the presence of a person of the opposite sex.

Libfem37 Fri 10-Jan-20 22:31:23

The equality act does not give you or anyone else the right to reject a trans woman from female toilets without just cause, ie threatening or inappropriate behaviour.

OldCrone Fri 10-Jan-20 22:19:02

To suggest that trans women are inherently dangerous by virtue of an immutable characteristic is unreasonable.

Has anyone suggested that? And what immutable characteristic are you referring to? Sex?

No one has the right to deny access for simply being trans.

No, but people might be denied access because they are male.

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