Response to letter on GRA in Morning Star 13th July 2018

We are calling for action within our movement to allow informed discussion to take place over proposed changes to the Act.

We are glad that the signatories of the letter to the Morning Star on 13th July 2018 concur that the toxic nature of debate needs to be challenged.

We agree that online abuse is a problem and is something we are happy to condemn.

We are heartened to see that the signatories also condemn the real life threat, intimidation and violence against women which was the focus of the original letter and which has previously gone unchallenged.

This shows real progress which we are delighted to see.

We also note the signatories’ confidence that:

‘Changes in the way trans people are able to legally identify themselves will have no impact on sex-based exemptions in the Equality Act (2010).’

This has been a focus of Woman’s Place UK demands from the beginning and we sincerely hope they are right.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares this commitment and calls to remove the single sex exemptions have been publicly advocated for by Stonewall, Gendered Intelligence, Scottish Trans Alliance, the Maria Miller Transgender Inquiry and in the Early Day Motion 355 which is still live.

We are sad that it has taken so long for people to agree that a comradely discussion is necessary as we believe this has left a vacuum in which a toxicity has flourished but we are relieved this is now being committed to.

Unfortunately, as the original letter published in the Morning Star on 4th July 2018 made absolutely clear, women are increasingly afraid to organise publicly or attend meetings for fear of attack or retribution including threats to their livelihood and personal safety.

This must change.

We are grateful to the high profile trade unionists and activists in the labour movement who signed the original letter asking for an end to the intimidating environment. It was clear that the intent was to seek a meaningful and considered debate in a reasonable, calm way and we are pleased that there has been an acknowledgement of our concerns.

We now call on those who receive public funding, and those in political power at all levels of our society, to take steps to facilitate the debate and to foster the good relations that are required by the Equality Act.

We are grateful to the high profile trade unionists and activists in the labour movement who signed the original letter asking for an end to the intimidating environment.

We look forward to working with the signatories of the letter of 13th July to make sure this now happens.