UK Labour Councillor And The Sunday Times Latest To Attack Trans Bathroom Rights

Labour councillor Anne Sinnot resigns from her post in protest against trans bathroom rights days after The Sunday Times published an offensive article on trans access to London's public toilets.

A public toilet on the street in Portobello, London

In the never-ending attack on the rights of trans people to use public bathrooms, this week saw The Sunday Times publish a misleading article and Labour councillor Anne Sinnot resign from her position on the Cambridge city council in protest against trans women accessing women’s toilets.

Council member, Anne Sinnott, said allowing trans women access to certain public toilets was undermining cis women’s rights, insisting “Cambridge city council knowingly stands in dereliction of the law” and adding she had “no wish to be party to unlawfulness”.  

There were queries why the resignation of the Labour councillor was tendered now, as a spokesperson for the political party said that due the Equality Act of 2010, the policy had “been in place for eight years and no one had queried the wording in that period”. However, Sinnott continued “I do not want to be a member of a council that fails to recognise that female-only facilities are needed by [cis] women as a generality. Nor do I wish to be associated with a council that effectively treated Cambridge women with contempt, while it insidiously dismantled their rights.” How someone using a bathroom led to a dismantling of rights for others remained unclear.

Just days before, The Sunday Times rowed in with an insidious and misleading story on how the City of London’s recently delivered Consultation On Gender Identity Policy would allow trans women to access London’s public bathrooms. The piece by Andrew Gilligan set out to raise some kind of alarm over the fact that “Women’s lavatories at Tower Bridge, the Old Bailey, the Museum of London and dozens of other places could be opened to people who identify as transgender in the most radical move yet to promote their rights.”

The article went on to give space to TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) on the subject: “The moves have horrified some feminists, who said they were a ‘huge deal’ and a ‘mind-blowing’ erosion of women’s protected spaces… Hannah Clarke, a feminist involved in the Hampstead Heath protests, (where trans women were barred from using a women-only bathing area) said: ‘This is mind-blowing. It effectively abolishes women’s protected spaces. It is dangerous for women and girls’.”

The Sunday Times piece broadcasted the views of the chief of the European Tourism Association, Tom Jenkins, who worried about the dangers to the apparently small minds of people visiting London, stating “The City need to be aware that as an international destination, they need to embrace the sensitivities of all their customers”.

Wicked Dublin MPU

Edward Lord OBE, member of the City of London Court of Common Council, tweeted about the ridiculousness of the situation posting: “To be clear, thanks to the Equality Act 2010 trans people are already welcome to use the City of London loos that most suit their gender. It is a shame that [Andrew Gilligan] and The Sunday Times have chosen to publish such a misleading article about our gender identity consultation.”

In more positive news, Dublin held its first ever Trans Pride on Saturday, where trans activists and allies took to the streets to protest the numerous struggles still being fought by the trans community.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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