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Equality Act comes into force

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  1. Zoe O'Connell 1 Oct 2010, 11:30am

    You mention the Trans aspect as if it’s a good thing – but the Equalities Act largely leaves us high and dry. There are many of us who do not hail the coming into force of this new legislation as a good thing and are quite opposed to it.

    Today, I can be refused entry to a hospital that only operates single sex wards, despite being at a hugely increased risk of violence.

    Today, I can be refused rape counselling, despite being at a hugely increased risk of sexual assault.

    Today, I can be refused entry to sheltered accommodation, despite being at a hugely increased risk of domestic violence.

    All because I’m transsexual and the Equalities Act specifically excludes us in these areas, making things worse than it was before this law came into force.

    And if you think this can’t happen to you because you’re not transsexual? You don’t need to be, someone just has to believe you are – or claim to believe – and it’s perfectly legal.

  2. It covers marriage to ensure that everyone is equal? Can it be used to demand marriage equality?

  3. Sally Outen 1 Oct 2010, 11:51am

    *nodnod*, I feel that Zoe’s point is a very important one – many of us in the trans community are extremely alarmed by the Equality Act, which really isn’t such a positive thing for us, and may only serve to set trans rights back years….

  4. All of those areas regarding Trans equality came up in the Committee Stage of the Bill and were supposed to be included.

    I understand we have Harriet Harman to thank personally for their removal.

    That’s one reason why Labour will struggle to win back my vote.

    chrissie
    xxxx

    chrissie
    xxxx

  5. Brenda Lana Smith R af D 1 Oct 2010, 12:31pm

    Shamefully, on behalf of my friends who happen to be, being “Intersex” is not considered a “protected characteristic” under the UK’s much vaunted Equality Act for all…

  6. They have the time to meddle in private clubs, but not first get the more important down like mentioned above?
    We can protest a club for being homophobic and ruin their business. We CAN’T exactly protest a hospital and all the other nesscessary things to life that make it so dangerous to be LGBT.
    Sickening.

  7. “The Labour government planned to ensure that businesses must reveal how much they pay men compared with women but this has been withdrawn under the coalition, prompting complaints from women’s groups. One of the most controversial aspects of the new act is equal pay. Businesses have argued that the legislation will put heavy burdens on them at a time of financial difficulty.”

    That arguement is as offensive and irrelevant as Ben Summerskill’s claim that marriage equality should not be campaigned for, as it will cost too much.

    So companies will be allowed to continue paying women 83p for every £1 they pay a man, even though they are doing the exact same job?

  8. Ben Summerskill job as government gatekeeper during the consultation allowed him to block most of the trans and intersexed representation reaching ministers and committees.

    Just another example of how Summerskill sold out the LGBT

  9. Lord Alli needs an update. The last time I checked, there is absolutely NO civil or religious marriage for gay couples and NO weddings either. Whenever you find things are not fully protected as far as equality goes, you’ll find Summerskill’s fingerprints all over it. He must GO……….NOW! He’s working against us and is the roadblock to full equality. Its up to us to unblock it. We need a national campaign to get rid of him and if need be, StonewallUK if it refuses to budge on marriage equality.

  10. “sexual orientation was not included in protection from harassment in schools and goods and services.”

    “Labour government said that there was no need to include these characteristics in protections outside the workplace because there was no evidence of harassment taking place which would not fall within the protection from direct discrimination.”

    But as someone pointed out before this was asked to Ben Summerskill in a committee meeting by Lynne Featherstne and these words bear a strange similarity to what BS said then .. we can thank BS for this exclusion I think….

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmpublic/equality/090602/pm/90602s01.htm#09060286000259

  11. Omar Kuddus GayasylumUK 1 Oct 2010, 10:48pm

    In Britain today with the introduction of the equality bill we gained perhaps, further protection from being discriminated against for our sexuality or gender, but in the victory we should not forget that others aground the world do not share the same luxury.

  12. Zoe Brain 2 Oct 2010, 2:40am

    Equality Act 2010 (c. 15)
    Schedule 3 — Services and public functions: exceptions
    Part 7 — Separate and single services

    Gender reassignment
    28
    (1) A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to gender reassignment discrimination, only because of anything done in relation to a matter within sub-paragraph (2) if the conduct in question is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

    (2) The matters are—
    (a) the provision of separate services for persons of each sex;
    (b) the provision of separate services differently for persons of each sex;
    (c) the provision of a service only to persons of one sex.

    Equality Act 2010 (c. 15)
    Schedule 9 — Work: exceptions
    Part 1 — Occupational requirements
    (3) The references in sub-paragraph (1) to a requirement to have a protected
    characteristic are to be read—
    (a) in the case of gender reassignment, as references to a requirement not to be a transsexual person (and section 7(3) is accordingly to be ignored);

    So what does that mean? It means that there is one “protected” class where protection is explicitly removed, not granted. It means that a gender recognition certificate is not worth the paper it’s printed on. Rather than being a recognition that they are of the target gender, it’s a nullity, as the law states that they’re not, not really. This is made clear in the explanatory notes.:

    Gender reassignment: paragraph 28

    749. This paragraph replaces a similar provision in the Sex Discrimination Act
    1975.
    Example
    A group counselling session is provided for female victims of sexual assault. The organisers do not allow transsexual people to attend as they judge that the clients who attend the group session are unlikely to do so if a male-to-female transsexual person was also there. This would be lawful.

    Schedule 9: Work: exceptions
    Part 1: Occupational requirements

    A counsellor working with victims of rape might have to be a woman and not a transsexual person, even if she has a gender recognition certificate, in order to avoid causing them further distress.

    The provisions of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 that over-rode that 1975 act have now been repealed. There is a distinction between “women” and “transsexual persons with (or without) gender recognition certificates” now.

  13. oh hey the equalities bill that makes it legal to discriminate against trans people. piss right off please!

  14. how much good is this if it doesn’t cover everyone? as it doesn’t cover trans or LBG then it’s a waste

  15. Jock S. Trap 4 Oct 2010, 9:23am

    Never forget this was Harriet Harm-em’s bill!!

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