@glesga_keelie calls out the Green politician for misinterpreting the Equality Act on sex and women’s rights
Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, today went on national television and made a claim that is completely untrue*.
Adam Boulton of Sky News said to Harvie: “So a transwoman is a woman in your view, even if they have male genitalia, for example.”
Harvie replied: “Well, that’s not just my view, it’s the law.”
Except it’s NOT the law. And Patrick Harvie must know this because there’s currently a legal challenge to hold a judicial review into misleading guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on this very subject with a date in court of May 6.
The reason for the challenge to the EHRC is that they have – along with politicians, charities, NGOs and businesses – been misled into believing or accepting or promoting that single-sex exemptions in the Equality Act cannot be applied except in the tiniest of exceptions.
Deliberate misinterpretation has to stop
Harvie’s Green Party – along with the SNP, the Liberal Democrats and Labour – all misinterpret the Equality Act 2010 by stating the mantra of gender ideology, that transwomen are women (TWAW). Among the Equality Act’s nine protected characteristics are gender reassignment (note: NOT gender identity) and sex.
Stonewall and organisations such as Scottish Trans Alliance provide workplace training and workshops for politicians that explicitly tell them single-sex exemptions – for example, women’s refuges or asking for a same-sex doctor or women-only swim sessions – are not allowed because they discriminate against transwomen.
Their justification for this is the Gender Recognition Act 2004, under which an individual can apply for a gender recognition certificate (GRC) that changes their birth sex so the opposite sex becomes their “acquired gender”. Note the use of gender rather than sex. The law is still clear that sex itself cannot be changed.
The GRC is what is referred to as a legal fiction. And we know it’s a legal fiction because the GRA also has an exemption that means a female who changes gender to male through a GRC cannot inherit a peerage or honorary title. There’s also an exemption for religious groups who only want to employ males as clergy.
Quelle surprise. Everyone knows who’s male or female when it comes to money and religion.
Single-sex exemptions still apply
But the Equality Act is also clear that a person holding a GRC is not considered a female for all purposes. That’s where the single-sex exemptions come in.
Those pushing for GRA reform want to do away with any medical gatekeeping and allow anyone who claims they are the opposite sex simply to say so or, at a push, sign a statutory declaration. This is gender self-identification.
Gender self-ID is NOT the law anywhere in the UK. So single-sex exemptions still apply.
But the likes of Stonewall have acted as if it is for the last half a dozen years and issue misleading training and advice that means the Scottish Prison Service accepts male prisoners who ID as female and puts them in women’s jails.
It means Police Scotland collect misleading crime data when they process male sex offenders as female because these men declare themselves to be women.
It means women who ask for a female doctor or nurse for intimate examinations or care cannot be guaranteed their practitioner will be female.
Enough of the gaslighting
So when Patrick Harvie asserts on live TV that it’s the law of the land that transwomen are women and they are perfectly entitled to be placed in a female ward, in a women’s refuge or on your daughter’s rugby pitch, he is, at best, mistaken and, at worst, gaslighting the population.
Make up your own mind on his behaviour from the evidence. But make sure you do so before thinking of casting a vote for the Scottish Greens on May 6. Remember: if you don’t respect my sex, don’t expect my X.
*In the Sky interview, Harvie also made a grossly offensive comparison of transwomen to black women, Jewish women and disabled women. Far too many people defending trans rights constantly conflate the racism black women face with any objection to transwomen in women’s spaces. It’s a disgusting trope and it has to stop. Harvie should know better.