Update: Trans inclusion in the Equality Bill

December 7, 2009

Further to my recent post, an update has now been emailed to members of the Facebook group Trans inclusion in the Equality Bill – ACT NOW.

Subject: What happens next?

Hello everyone,

Thank you very, very much for joining this group, inviting your friends, and participating in the campaign. Amendments for the Equality Bill were discussed on Wednesday 2nd December, so we thought you’d like to know what happened on the day, and what we’re doing next.

Unfortunately – but not paticularly surprisingly – there were only a few hours set aside for debate and voting on amendments for the Equality Bill on Wednesday. This meant that there was very little discussion of the trans amendments, and there was not time for a vote upon them.

However:

At least 65 MPs were contacted about trans inclusion in the Equality Bill. This has meant that trans issues have not only remained “live”, but more politicians are aware of them than ever before, which bodes well for the future. This also demonstrates to the government that we are still concerned about equality for ALL trans people, and about protecting trans children from harassment in schools. It shows that we will not back down on issues such as these.

Speaking on Wednesday in the House of Commons, Lynne Featherstone MP noted that “The government has never fully understood the difference between gender reassignment and gender identity”. Hopefully we’re beginning to change that.

So, what happens next?

The Equality Bill will now move to the House of Lords, and a briefing paper for sympathetic Lords is being prepared. As part of this, there will need to be examples given of real people who will benefit from trans-friendly amendments to the Equality Bill. We will be sending out more information on that campaign soon to keep you up to date with what’s happening, and how you can contribute.

Updates will also be posted on this Facebook group and the blog at http://justfillingintheblanks.blogspot.com/.

Thanks again!

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Cross-posted at The F-Word and Harlot’s Parlour

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