Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki
The Government’s Equalities Minister, Liz Truss, has said there is “no interest” in preventing trans people from using toilets that correspond with their gender identity,
In a letter addressed to the head of the UK’s equalities watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Truss said she was aware of recent reporting around the Commission producing guidance on single-sex services and the “the worry” that had been created as a result.
The EHRC has had to fend off reports that it has been meeting with anti-trans groups and leaks suggesting documents being changed to become “transphobic and seriously inaccurate” and staff leaving over the organisation’s direction.
“The Government has no interest in changing the current situation”
In the letter seen by i news, Truss thanks Baroness Kishwer Falkner, the Chair of the EHRC, for her work on producing guidance related to single-sex services and reiterates her view that there should be clarity on the law around the use of them.
She continues, “I know that we both remain fully committed to ensuring that all people, including transgender people, are free to live and to prosper in modern Britain. I also know that you share my concern about the worry that recent reporting has created, and that you have been seeking to correct this.
“The Government is committed to maintaining the safeguards that allow organisations to provide single-sex services. The Equality Act makes it clear that providers have the right to restrict use of spaces on the basis of sex as currently takes place.
“The Government has no interest in changing the current situation where transgender people are able to use facilities of their chosen gender,” she goes on to say.
Liz Truss also says she stands by the EHRC’s independence. The organisation, set up in 2007, is independent of government but its executives are appointed by government.
The EHRC was recently said to be considering banning trans people from single-sex services according to reports from Vice World News. The EHRC denied this was the case and said anything to the contrary was “completely false”.
i news also reports that a source close to Ms. Truss, who is also the UK’s Foreign Secretary, says that “Liz has been clear that the Equality Act allows transgender people to use facilities in their chosen gender, and that the government has no intention of changing that.”
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