Thank you for contacting me about the ‘RespectMySex’ campaign.
I view the safety of women and young girls as a priority, and people being free to live their lives they way they feel necessary should not get in the way of that.
Gender identity ideology itself does not have an impact on the safety of women and girls, merely giving them the right to identify how they feel and live in a way that makes them comfortable. Your concern with the safety of women and girls in spaces will only be impacted by the way that this is integrated into society. For example, by the use of unisex or gender-neutral toilets for the inclusion of transgender individuals.
The Equality Act 2010 does prohibit the discrimination of multiple characteristics, including gender reassignment. This means that, in not including spaces for transgender individuals, organisations will be going against this Act.
However, I welcome that the Government is committed to hearing a wide range of opinions on this important topic. The recent public consultation on potential reform to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which indicated that existing legislation strikes the right balance between ensuring there are proper checks and balances in the system as well as support for transgender people, is evidence of this. I am proud that the UK is a global leader in LGBT rights, and believe that protecting transgender people from discrimination does not require the rights of others to be removed.
I know that the Minister for Women and Equalities’ assurance that any reform will ensure the protection of single-sex spaces, which I recognise is extremely important.
All schools are expected to provide an inclusive environment that supports all of their children’s needs and allows them to reach their full potential, regardless of background or gender. Fundamentally, I believe that schools are best placed to decide how to support their pupils’ needs, considering parents’ wishes at the same time. Schools receive guidance and supportive measures from the Department for Education to help them do this.