Gender Recognition Act reform and Government LGBT Action Plan

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2018 National LGBT Conference
27 July 2018

Conference welcomes the launch of the Westminster government’s consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004 on 3 July 2018. It notes that the consultation closed on 19 October, and commends all those branch and regional groups, individual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members and others who submitted responses supporting the reform and updating of the GRA.

Conference notes that the government published a new “LGBT Action Plan: Improving the Lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People” in July 2018, in response to the results of the 2017 national survey of LGBT people. The survey, which had over 108,000 responses, is the largest national survey of LGBT people.

The Action Plan includes over 70 commitments for government action on LGBT equality. Conference recognises that there is much in the plan to be welcomed but that there are concerns about a lack of detail in some areas and about the adequacy of the funding available to deliver on the commitments made.

Conference notes the plan includes commitments to launch a Call for Evidence on the issues faced by non-binary people and a separate Call for Evidence “to improve the evidence relating to intersex people’s experiences”

Conference further notes that in the area of trans people’s rights, the government signalled that it would not allow the review of the GRA to be derailed by transphobic and trans exclusionary groups. Its response to a petition arguing that any change in the GRA could “impact on women-only services and spaces” and would challenge “the principle of single-sex spaces” clearly stated that reform of the GRA was not a threat to women-only spaces.

However, transphobic groups continue to crowd social media, hijack Pride marches, and garner support from the media. We must remain vigilant and continue to challenge the misinformation and bigotry that have been, and continue to be, whipped up by those who seek to remove or water down transgender rights.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee to:

1)Continue to support advances in transgender equality, remain at the forefront of this vital area of work and continue work to dispel myths and challenge bigotry.

2)Work with Labour Link to support the passage of any bill arising from the GRA consultation that seeks to remove unnecessary barriers to gender recognition.

3)Monitor the actions taken by the government on the commitments made in the Action Plan

4)Promote and respond to the Calls for Evidence on the issues faced by non-binary people and the experiences of intersex people

5)Continue to work with appropriate bodies and partners, such as the Scottish Trans Alliance, to further transgender equality in the UK and the devolved nations

6)Work with the National Women’s committee to provide updated guidance to branch women’s officers about the impact of GRA reform.

7)Update our factsheets and bargaining guides to reflect changes arising from the consultation and associated parliamentary bills and acts.