apparently all is good so what am I worrying about?

(20 Posts)
awesomekillick Thu 20-May-21 11:33:03

It's complicated...

I own a successful consultancy business. I've just had a long talk with my CEO about the position we will take on Trans, not internally, but with clients, as our work will bring is squarely into this arena. So something like a law firm (we're not) who will have to decide if they will take a case on a trans harassment allegation.

CEO (white man, decent bloke, extremely able at his job) has pushed back today more or less saying, what's the problem , as self-declaration of gender is not allowed in the UK, the Government's position is anti-self-ID and that currently a Trans Women or Tman would have to have gone through the full GRA process including a change of birth certificate (but not necessarily surgical gender re-assignment) before being recognised as a woman / man under the Equalities Act and that false declaration can result in a prison sentence. Also that it is lawful to exclude transgender people from single-sex services in some cases if this is “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.

I'm at a loss. Is what he says is true? It doesn't feel like it matches what I've been reading about transwomen going to women's prisons, for eg?

Please please help. I am raging at the emotional trans agenda stuff but appear to not have a coherent logical factual argument with which to persuade CEO

OP’s posts: |
FFSFFSFFS Thu 20-May-21 11:45:25

I thing two things:

(i) that may be the current status of things in the UK but the "trans movement" (for want of a better word) want to change all that

(ii) trans people can still be harrassed in unlawful and ethically/morally unacceptable ways and should (in my view) be provided with appropriate representation when that happens.

OneEpisode Thu 20-May-21 12:00:01

Your CEO seems to have some understanding of the UK law and the UK lawmakers’ intentions which was to balance the rights of all.
There is stuff happening on advice form Stonewall etc that doesn’t seem to reflect the same principals. The university of Essex report is worth reading.

CharlieParley Thu 20-May-21 13:21:24

Policy capture and regulatory capture are the problem.

So, confident about GRA reform succeeding and also in order to create new realities on the ground that would then make GRA reform seem like merely bringing the law into line with practice, very many policies were created and/or adjusted that are based on self-id. Regulators who are supposed to ensure that the law is upheld were themselves influenced by this strategy. They failed to uphold the law, failed to meet their duties in regard to all protected groups and failed to maintain a professional distance to lobby groups acting for just one individual protected group. (There is nothing wrong with lobby groups trying to campaign for their aims. The duty to ensure that lobbyists do not unduly influence regulators and politicians does not lie with the lobbyists but with regulators and politicians.)

The end effect of all of this has been harm done to women and girls, but most worryingly to vulnerable women and girls. Exclusion and self-exclusion of those of us who need single-sex provisions has shrunk the public sphere for us while expanding it for male-born people.

Incarcerated women are denied a basic human right as mandated in the UN's Nelson Mandela guidelines for prisoners: to be locked up only with other female prisoners.

As we now know from Fair Play for Women, this wasn't done to keep transgender male prisoners safe, but to provide them with unspecified "female experiences" and female company - in other words to provide validation for their claims to womanhood.

The transgender policies of HM Prisons and Probation Service are one clear example of what has already happened to bring self-id into practice, even if both international human rights laws and UK law have not.

endofthelinefinally Thu 20-May-21 13:26:15

You read the Equality Act 2010.

endofthelinefinally Thu 20-May-21 13:27:06

That should say
You could read the Equality Act 2010.

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 20-May-21 13:28:12

I think it boils down to what the law says, and what is actually happening. Many organisations have taken on self-id as an actuality, despite the fact that there is no law mandating it, as with the example of prisons, the police recording crime by self identified gender instead of sex, schools teaching this as fact, sport allowing self-id of gender for previously sex-segregated sports - even contact sports like rugby.

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Thelnebriati Thu 20-May-21 13:31:00

''I...appear to not have a coherent logical factual argument with which to persuade CEO''

Persuade him of what? What outcome do you want?

You have to abide by the law or face consequences. Your CEO seems to have a good grasp of the law and seems unlikely to lead the company into litigation.
If you are provide gatekeeping to ensure a service is single sex, then you do that. So the next conversation you need to have is a risk assessment;
What are the most likely scenarios.
How do we act in each type of scenario?
What are the most likely risks?

for example;
is there a situation where you have to gatekeep a single sex service? How do you check a persons birth certificate, what staff member has to do that, what is the process, what training have you given them, what protection do you give them against allegations of discrimination?

LizzieSiddal Thu 20-May-21 13:37:18

As others have said, what he states is true however Stonewall have given incorrect advise re the Law to institutions and companies, which misrepresent the Law.

Send your CEO the report published this week by Essex university. Specifically the recommendations re Stonewall.

ArabellaScott Thu 20-May-21 13:37:51

It sounds like your CEO has a pretty good grasp of the relevant legislation, yes.

The key is implementing it and resisting pushback from those who would try to insist that the law is different.

Recent EHRC comments are useful. Your CEO is correct, people can be excluded for their sex (GRC or not) from services if there is a legitimate aim.

Blergfish Thu 20-May-21 13:54:44

That's also my understanding of the law. What point would you like to make to your CEO?

Maybe approach on a case by case basis if a problem with protecting single sex spaces comes up?

Shedbuilder Thu 20-May-21 13:56:14

what's the problem , as self-declaration of gender is not allowed in the UK, the Government's position is anti-self-ID and that currently a Trans Women or Tman would have to have gone through the full GRA process including a change of birth certificate (but not necessarily surgical gender re-assignment) before being recognised as a woman / man under the Equalities Act and that false declaration can result in a prison sentence.

You don't have to do anything to be covered by Gender Reassignment under the EA 2010 except to announce that you are transgender or that you are exploring whether you are transgender. So, while self-ID hasn't been formally introduced, it's snuck in through the back door. The moment you mention that you may be transgender. you're effectively transgender. You don't have to see a doctor or take hormones or even change the way you dress and present. It's not even clear whether you have to change name or pronouns. You don't have to apply for a GRC. You can change your mind/ detransition any time you like, and change it back. There are theoretical penalties for people who apply and obtain a GRC and then detransition, but several people have and nothing has been done about it. I understand from things I've seen written here that you can change your sex on your driving licence and passport without a GRC, simple by requesting to do so.

Check out Philip Bunce: acknowledged as transgender while presenting half the week in a dress and half in a male business suit.

Yes, it's lawful to maintain single-sex services in certain situations, but a lot of smaller women's organisations and companies and services involved don't have the money or legal expertise to understand the finer points of those exceptions/ exemptions and have been bullied and coerced into accepting male-sexed persons as clients and board members. Single-sex organisations are always being told they need to be inclusive: inclusivity is a weapon used against women.

So you and your CEO need to sit down together and read the EA 2010 and then, if necessary, take legal advice from a GC lawyer who hasn't swallowed Stonewall Law. Also worth reading the Recent Reinhof Report commissioned by Essex University.

thepuredrop Thu 20-May-21 14:24:12

Trans Women or Tman would have to have gone through the full GRA process including a change of birth certificate (but not necessarily surgical gender re-assignment) before being recognised as a woman / man under the Equalities Act and that false declaration can result in a prison sentence. Also that it is lawful to exclude transgender people from single-sex services in some cases if this is “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.

Your boss has got it right.
The EA2010 recognises the protected characteristic of gender reassignment (amongst others) regardless of having a GRC, so to preserve a single-sex service, trans people with a GRC must also be excluded (as well as those without). Not to do so would be discrimination (against trans people without a GRC) on the basis of gender reassignment. Basically, if you want to make a service single-sex for women, you have to exclude all transwomen regardless of whether they have a GRC. This came up in Ann Sinnott’s case against EHRC.

thepuredrop Thu 20-May-21 14:28:51

My apologies, I didn’t pay enough attention to your post. You are the owner, your CEO is correct.

Erikrie Thu 20-May-21 14:35:46

Please please help. I am raging at the emotional trans agenda stuff but appear to not have a coherent logical factual argument with which to persuade CEO

What is it you want to persuade him about? He seems to have a fair grasp on the legal position. Many companies have misinterpreted the law, or chosen not to exclude transwomen even though it does put women in danger. But he is correct on his interpretation of the law.

thepuredrop Thu 20-May-21 14:37:19

The problem that you mentioned with prisons, etc is they decided to include transwomen with the protected characteristic of gender reassignment, in a single-sex service for women. Once they decide to do that, they can’t discriminate against transwomen without a GRC by only including transwomen with a GRC: that’s discrimination. They either have to include both or neither.

Shedbuilder Thu 20-May-21 14:38:23

What you're missing is that the number of people with a GRC/ applying for a GRC is tiny, less than 5,000. It's estimated that 200,000 - 500,000 people identify as transgender.

DdraigGoch Thu 20-May-21 14:53:35

I'm not sure exactly what you are concerned about. Your CEO is aware of the law and hasn't been Stonewalled. Without knowing precisely what might come up with your clients it's difficult to know whether the issue will actually make a difference to what your company does.

HecatesCatsInFancyHats Thu 20-May-21 15:00:11

Hi OP, here's a link to the equality act - mentioned by PPs.

These are the protected characteristics.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contentss*
Chapter 1 Protected characteristics
4.The protected characteristics
5.Age
6.Disability
7.Gender reassignment
8.Marriage and civil partnership
9.Race
10.Religion or belief
11.Sex

There are also details of the single sex exemption. So your CEO is right about the law.

12.Sexual orientation

Justme56 Thu 20-May-21 15:56:23

It may be useful for you to have a look at the Sexmatters website as they have lots of information/resources covering the legal side (plus much more) on this subject. The organisation was set up by a number of women (including Maya Forestater and Naomi Cunningham) who have years of expertise in this area.

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