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Former Equalities minister Maria Miller slams media for being anti-trans

Josh Jackman February 27, 2018

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Former Conservative equalities minister Maria Miller has lashed out at mainstream media outlets who have aired anti-trans views.

Miller particularly targeted reporters who wrote critically about the decision of domestic violence charity Women’s Aid to allow trans women to work in its refuges.

The Tory MP, who chairs the Women and Equalities Select Committee, was responding to a question from PinkNews at an event in Parliament to celebrate the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s tenth anniversary.

Former cabinet minister and Conservative MP Maria Miller walks through the Members' Lobby before the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster in London on June 4, 2014. The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year and the Queen's Speech sets out the governments agenda for the coming session. AFP PHOTO / POOL / DAN KITWOOD (Photo credit should read Dan Kitwood/AFP/Getty Images)
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Miller told the audience: “While I absolutely believe that newspapers have a right to print what they want to, it has to be based on fact, and there is no evidence that trans women are a threat to anybody else.

“If anything, they are the victims of a great deal of hate crime, and very high levels of sexual assault themselves,” she added.

A report released last month by YouGov and Stonewall showed that 41 percent of trans people have been the victim of hate crime in the past 12 months.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 25: Protestors demonstrate during a rally against the transgender bathroom rights repeal at Thomas Paine Plaza February 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rallies are also being held across the country in support of the Affordable Health Care Act. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
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Miller continued: “I think that if we’re going to have a debate, it needs to be based on fact.

“And I have sat down with Rape Crisis, I’ve sat down with Women’s Aid, I’ve sat down with Refuge, and all of them are already incredibly supportive of trans women and the appalling situations they find themselves in.

“And to paint this as something which is a problem for them is so wrong.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: MP Maria Miller leaves No 10 Downing Street as Culture Secretary on the day Prime Minister David Cameron holds a government reshuffle on September 4, 2012 in London, England. David Cameron today holds his first major Cabinet reshuffle since becoming Prime Minister in a shake-up aimed at restoring confidence in the coalition and reinvigorating the economy. (Photo by Rosie Hallam/Getty Images)
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“And I think that those who are writing in this way really need to ask themselves some questions about the facts, as opposed to anything else.”

She also called on lawmakers to seek equality for trans people.

“I think its really sad that its being played out as a zero-sum game, that one side’s win is the other side’s loss, because I don’t believe that for a moment,” said Miller.

“The trans people I’ve met, and the parents of trans children I’ve met have done nothing other than seeking some sort of equality, and I think as a Parliament we’ve got to take that very seriously indeed.”

Miller also condemned “the heinous way the NHS deals with trans people [and] the heinous way schools deal with trans people”.

The Times and Sunday Times newspapers have published dozens of stories questioning transgender equality since the “trans hysteria” began in the UK media.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has accused newspapers of propagating a “moral panic” over trans people similar to the anti-gay coverage seen in the 1980s.

Dr Heather Peto – a candidate for MP for Melton last year – with former Labour leader Ed Miliband

Tonight’s event, “How Fair is Britain?”, was also attended by Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Amber Rudd, as well as Shadow Equalities Minister Dawn Butler.

Butler has been embroiled in controversy today over Labour’s decision to invite transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf to join its LGBT+ advisory board.

Conservative vice-chair called on Butler to “urgently” reconsider the appointment, adding that Bergdorf’s comments about white people were “abhorrent”.

More: Maria Miller, Media, Politics, The Sunday Times, the times, Transgender, UK

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