LGBTQ+ leaders urge Rishi Sunak to halt UK government's "damaging" moves on trans rights

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Sunak, LGBTQ+ leaders said that the UK government is treating trans people as “a threat to contain”.

Group from Stonewall, one of the UK LGBTQ+ groups calling on Sunak to stop the government's damaging response to the Scotland gender reform bill, marching in a parade.
Image: Via Twitter - @littlemix_twt

Leaders from more than 145 LGBTQ+ groups in the UK have signed a letter to call on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to reconsider the government’s damaging response to gender law reforms passed in Scotland last year. At the same time, thousands of people in the UK are emailing their MPs, urging them to take action on the issue.

The open letter was submitted to the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak by the LGBT Consortium, an umbrella organisation for LGBTQ+ groups including Stonewall, Pride in London and Mermaids. In the letter, the leaders take issue with the recent government’s stance on trans rights.

On January 9, UK Minister for Women and Equalities Kemi Badenoch announced that the conservative government is planning a review of the list of countries from which gender recognition certificates are automatically accepted by British authorities, a move that would exclude 14 territories, among which are Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Moreover, the government led by Sunak is also considering taking action to block the Gender Recognition Reform bill introduced in Scotland in December, which makes it easier for trans people to have their preferred gender recognised in legal documents.

In the letter, LGBTQ+ leaders state that such plans send “a clear message that the UK Government does not feel trans people are worthy of respect in our society” and instead treats them as “a threat to contain”.

The letter concludes saying: ​​”We implore the Prime Minister to stop this unnecessary and damaging action immediately and instead recognise the significant positive contribution of trans people across the UK.”

At the same time, more than 10’000 members of the public have sent emails to their local MPs, urging them to halt the government’s planned actions. Stonewall’s Director of Communications and External Affairs Robbie de Santo commented: “It’s wonderful to see so many Britons come out in support of trans rights by emailing their MP to challenge the UK Government’s plans”.

De Santos went on saying that “the British public’s response to these cruel proposals show how out of touch plans for an effective ‘trans travel ban’ is with public opinion” and urged the UK government to focus on “a strategy that improves the lives of all LGBTQ+ people, not harming trans people even more.”

Social media influencer Eva Echo was among the people who personally wrote to their MPs and, speaking to PinkNews about the government’s plans, she said: “It’s a bold and clearly transphobic move, designed to counter the result of Scotland’s recent gender recognition reform but we must remember it’s a cowardly one too, in that the UK has accepted non-UK GRCs up till now and is therefore using a blanket ban to diminish the result from Scotland without saying as much.”

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