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C. Burns thread on the original GRA and how transactivists intended it to function

(19 Posts)
AnyOldPrion Sat 26-Sep-20 17:39:11

twitter.com/christineburns/status/1309476670357864448?s=21

Some comments here from C.Burns, one of the key transactivists involved in pushing through the GRA 2004. Burns has previously commented in a Guardian article about how pleased transactivists were when they got the legislation passed without any media attention. Now the comment is that they intended the diagnostic information from doctors to be a formality.

Burns complains that the president of the first panel was “the culprit” for requiring detailed medical information. Presumably, given the serious issues raised by Lord Tebbit and others during the debate before the law was passed, the first president took her or his responsibility to keep women safe seriously? Whoever she or he was, I for one am glad that she or he ensured that the very significant process of changing legal sex, with all its potential for harm, was scrutinised properly.

Over time, it would seem that scrutiny has been eroded, but those originally charged with overseeing the process obviously felt this should be a serious process and not a mere box-ticking exercise, as transactivists apparently intended from the beginning.

OP’s posts: |
AnyOldPrion Sat 26-Sep-20 17:46:47

Screenshots:

OP’s posts: |
KatVonlabonk Sat 26-Sep-20 17:50:00

I have to say that it comes as a complete and utter shock that that Burns worked in IT for over 30 years. 🙄

FloralBunting Sat 26-Sep-20 18:47:03

They can't hear themselves, can they?

"There is too much emphasis on making the right decision and due diligence. We designed a law that would allow us to do as we pleased without any checks and balances, and those pesky people tasked with scrutinizing legislation added measures to minimize fraud and protect the vulnerable! The BASTARDS!"

NewlyGranny Sat 26-Sep-20 20:06:06

The level of indignation and outrage shows just how securely stitched up they thought the backroom deal was.

Melroses Sat 26-Sep-20 20:24:55

It is a PIA when people such as politicians and lawmakers get a say your nicely drafted legislation.

They managed to keep everyone else out! hmm

AnyOldPrion Sat 26-Sep-20 20:28:33

I left the comment from H. Lancaster-Smith on my screenshot as well.

According to Lancaster-Smith, women who want to maintain medical gatekeeping (however imperfectly that might work) to protect women from abusive men misusing the situation are “treating them like children“.

There speaks someone who despises women.

OP’s posts: |
Thelnebriati Sat 26-Sep-20 20:38:00

I look forwards to them making the same case for claiming PIP.

RozWatching Sat 26-Sep-20 21:21:34

Oh FFS, they really should quit while they are ahead.
This is how "strict" gatekeeping is under GRA:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3370661-2009-case-of-a-judge-ordering-an-intact-male-rapist-into-a-female-prison-because-he-had-a-GRC

Barracker wrote:

"In another thread www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3370578-House-of-Commons-report-on-Trans-Prisoners-Published-today?watched=1&msgid=81156014#81156014
there is a link to a report published today about trans prisoners.
There's a reference in that report to this court case R (on the application of AB) v Secretary of State for Justice and another (2009).

Read it, and gnash your teeth at the horror that the GRA 2004 created for women.

Key points of the case:

1. Male, 27, imprisoned for life. Was sentenced to an automatic “two strikes” life sentence for offences, committed while a man, of manslaughter and attempted rape.
2. Fully intact male genitalia.
3. Even in the male prison he was segregated from the MALE population for safety
4. He had been GRANTED a GRC. The panel were 'satisfied' that he had lived for two years 'in role as a woman'
5. He was seeking gender reassignment surgery; however, the gender identity clinic treating him would not approve gender reassignment surgery until he had spent a period living “in role” as a woman in a female prison
6. The original decision was made NOT to transfer him: "The claimant applied on several occasions to the defendant secretary of state for justice for transfer to a general female estate (not segregated). The secretary of state refused the transfer. The reasons given were, inter alia, the risk that the claimant posed to women given that she still possessed male genitalia, and the potential cost of segregation."
7. The claimant sought judicial review of that refusal. His lawyers argued that according to the GRA under s 9 that a person was “for all purposes” of the acquired gender. Penis notwithstanding.
8. The defence (the secretary of state which had denied the transfer) argued that s9 of the GRA didn't mean we should have to ignore a man's penis or the consequences of it, like the costs of having to segregate him from women to keep them safe if he was transferred.
9. His Lordship had this to say (in so many words)
10. Ok, so I won't force people to ignore the fact that this 'woman' has a penis. You can take the penis into account only insofar as it has an effect on your responsibility to the other prisoners.
11. However, this 'woman' is currently in a male prison, and should be treated exactly as you would theoretically treat any biological woman in a male prison. Regarding matters of external appearance, such as clothes and cosmetics his rights to those are being impinged. (Not kidding on this)
12. Also, keeping him in a male prison barred his ability to qualify for surgery, thanks to the gender identity clinic insisting that he had to be transferred to get it. His Lordship decided that interfered with his personal autonomy too much.
13. There was also a dollop of "we all agree he offends partly because he wants to be a woman so much" and "if we don't transfer him to the women's estate his risk profile will probably get worse"
14. It was concluded that the Secretary of State had not properly considered the effect of continued detention of the rapist in a male prison. The original refusal to put him in with the women was held to have breached the rapist's rights under Art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention).
15. So the transfer was then approved.

The end.

TL;DR
A genitally intact male rapist/man slaughterer with a life sentence was transferred to a women's prison despite an attempt by the Secretary of State to block it because:
A. The GRA had made him legally female
B. A gender identity clinic said he couldn't get his penis removed until he'd lived with it in a female prison for two years first
C. It was very mean to not let him have lipstick and dresses in male prison
D. If we didn't let him move he'd probably be much nastier than he already was
E. His rights were being breached.

#RepealTheGRA"

CharlieParley Sat 26-Sep-20 23:40:43

That is a misrepresentation.

Now the demand from trans rights campaigners at the time was a kind of self-id and no panel, but the government knew that wouldn't fly.

So then all the letters to government emphasised that 40% of people who identify as trans don't medically transition and don't intend to, even if they do get a diagnosis. So no medical transition as a requirement became the new demand and a rubber stamp panel was repeatedly asked for (indeed campaigners bitterly complained about how the panels were described as working in the draft bill).

The government was easily convinced of the former but didn't budge on the latter, because they needed the panel to work like that to sell the GRA to the public. It was one of the main selling points after all - giving careful consideration to each application and all of that.

The government knew telling the public that fully intact men could legally change sex wouldn't fly though, so they came up with a clever trick.

They wrote into the Act that you didn't have to transition to receive a GRC, but if you had transitioned, you absolutely had to prove it. As the first hundreds of applicants were almost all fully post-op transsexuals who had transitioned years earlier, this caused quite a few issues. (Because they often didn't have access to their old records, so they struggled getting the evidence.)

So, the panels took their job seriously, but they did not exceed their authority as Burns claims.

This is the relevant section from the law (Section 3, subsections 1 to 3 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004):

(1) An application under section 1(1)(a) must include either—

(a)a report made by a registered medical practitioner practising in the field of gender dysphoria and a report made by another registered medical practitioner (who may, but need not, practise in that field), or

(b)a report made by a [F1registered psychologist] practising in that field and a report made by a registered medical practitioner (who may, but need not, practise in that field).

(2) But subsection (1) is not complied with unless a report required by that subsection and made by—

(a)a registered medical practitioner, or

(b)a [F1registered psychologist], practising in the field of gender dysphoria includes details of the diagnosis of the applicant’s gender dysphoria.

(3)And subsection (1) is not complied with in a case where

(a) the applicant has undergone or is undergoing treatment for the purpose of modifying sexual characteristics, or

(b) treatment for that purpose has been prescribed or planned for the applicant, unless at least one of the reports required by that subsection includes details of it.

CharlieParley Sat 26-Sep-20 23:56:19

Forgot to add:

This provision had the required effect, namely that early applicants complained about all of the evidence they had to supply that they had medically transitioned, so no one took much notice of the fact that a medical transition wasn't required at all. Not even a planned one. (Which is why many trans rights campaigners still believe a medical transition or at least a planned one is a requirement.)

TyroBurningDownTheCloset Sun 27-Sep-20 18:36:36

"There is too much emphasis on making the right decision and due diligence. We designed a law that would allow us to do as we pleased without any checks and balances, and those pesky people tasked with scrutinizing legislation added measures to minimize fraud and protect the vulnerable! The BASTARDS!"

Beautifully put, Floral, but I had to double check what the OP's about when I read it. Thought I'd wound up on the Politics board for a moment there.

So all the progressive lefties waving their hands in horror at the Tories' plans to generally dispense with needless red tape will, I trust, be equally horrified by this?

CharlieParley Sun 27-Sep-20 22:39:05

Here is another article clearly showing Burns' claims for what they are.

The author, @ STILLTish on Twitter, quotes extensively from one of the leading judges on the Gender Recognition Panel. They decided that from the outset their approach should be to "enable" applicants and "facilitate" their success. She states that she's only ever turned down 3 out of nearly 3000 applications. Doesn't sound like a judge overstepping her authority and is if course the opposite approach to what the judges are accused of by Burns.

ChattyLion Mon 28-Sep-20 10:03:11

It needs departmental review, parliamentary debate and then repeal.

namechange9357 Mon 28-Sep-20 10:46:35

The existence of the panel is proof that it was intended to scrutinise evidence. Parliament would not create a decision maker unless there was a decision to be made.

BovaryX Mon 28-Sep-20 15:06:24

Presumably, given the serious issues raised by Lord Tebbit and others during the debate before the law was passed, the first president took her or his responsibility to keep women safe seriously? Whoever she or he was, I for one am glad that she or he ensured that the very significant process of changing legal sex, with all its potential for harm, was scrutinised properly

Well said. Timelady posted a link to the Hansard record and Lord Tebbitt specifically raised questions about people being compelled by the state to make statements they knew to be untrue. He foresaw the compelled speech implications and that this was not only a freedom of speech and conscience issue, but state sanctioned undermining of external reality.

ShagMeRiggins Mon 28-Sep-20 17:54:55

I’m concerned that in OP’s clip the response is that there are no planned legislative changes and therefore the guidance still stands.

From my reading there is the Act itself and then the Guidance attached, but I’ve never considered Guidance to be Law.

Perhaps someone could help me out with this because my reading of the Equality Act and its Guidance gave me the impression that Guidance is the loophole that allows certain activist groups to advise—wrongly—when brought in for consultation. That is, if they’re not getting it fully wrong, as wasn’t recently shown by the government body wrongly advising other government bodies and businesses.

SweetGrapes Mon 28-Sep-20 18:15:22

So in short... Computer says 'Yes'

How fantastic. Once it's implemented here, we can roll it out to other bureaucratic and demeaning things like
The PIP
Refugee / asylum applications
Drivers license for elderly

Demeaning - I'm sure a lot of people find it demeaning,
bureaucratic - yes
so why not??

ChattyLion Mon 28-Sep-20 21:52:51

Also I think it’s shocking that the fee for getting a GRC is now going down an unannounced ‘nominal fee’ ... down from only £140 quid, because some people complained about the cost. Eh? Why are taxpayers going to be subsiding this? Is this really how we make government policy now? When the public purse profiteers on top of government admin costs, in other situations, apparently quite happily?

This reduction for GRC is wildly unfair. When you think that people who have lived and worked and paid tax in this country for years on end have to pay indefinite leave to remain fees of £2,389 + £££ of extras per person..

www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table/2020

Coram Centre have said the Home Office makes a 90% profit out of these fees.
www.childrenslegalcentre.com/home-office-fees-2019/

So which is it, government? Can public admin costs be cut down to ‘nominal’ after a public consultation many of whose responses were cut and paste jobs... or is it important for government admin to not only cover its own costs, but to also profit on top of costs by 90%?
hmm

I’m sure they’ll be announcing the immigration fee consultation any day now..

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