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akt’s response to the Equalities Minister’s request to change the wording on the 2010 Equalities Act to “biological sex”.
akt are very disappointed in Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch’s decision to ask the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to advise on a change to the 2010 Equalities Act to redefine sex as “biological sex.”
We are extremely concerned about the EHRC’s preliminary response, which claims that changing the protected characteristic to ‘biological sex’ “could bring clarity in a number of areas.” Whilst the EHRC do concede that changing the wording could bring ‘potential ambiguity’ in some areas, this isn’t a conversation that should be happening in the first place. Potential ambiguity does not even begin to address the potential for harm that this change could cause towards trans people, particularly transfeminine people.
The majority of the public do not want changes to legislation that could put legal protections for trans people under threat. Recent research from Just Like Us shows that 69% of people who aren’t LGBTQ+ are supportive of trans people. There is no evidence that this wording change would be necessary or welcomed by people in the UK.
We want to reassure any trans young people reading this that the letter does not change the law. It carries no statutory weight, and there are several steps that would need to take place before any legislation changing the wording of the equalities act came into place. Trans people are still entitled to protection from discrimination under the Equalities Act.
If you are a trans person, or a young LGBTQ+ person at risk of or experiencing homelessness troubled by this news, please know that akt are here for you.
Our live chat is open from 10am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. If you are a person aged 16 to 25, LGBTQ+, and at risk of homelessness or living in a hostile environment, please get in touch. A member of our digital services team will be able to help you.