Current Affairs

Does anti-trans MP David Davies ‘stand up for lesbians’? (He doesn’t)

Jess Glass March 16, 2018
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(Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Conservative MP David Davies has been praised for standing up for the rights of lesbians. But is that true?

Earlier this week, a PinkNews exclusive revealed that an anti-trans meeting was held in Parliament, where trans people were condemned for ‘parasitically’ invading women’s spaces.

This event – sponsored by Davies – was partially prompted by the potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow transgender people to self-identify rather than requiring an extensive and often invasive process.

Much of the meeting in the House of Commons focused on women’s liberation, particularly for lesbians.

One of the speakers at the event claimed that future changes to the Gender Recognition Act would be “harmful to women and girls from a legal perspective.”

Organiser Venice Allan, who regularly tweets under the name ‘Dr Radfem’, posted a photo of herself and Davies on Twitter after the event.

(Photo: @DrRadFem / Twitter)

She wrote: “Thank you for standing up for lesbians.”

It’s time for a fact-check on that statement.

Davies’ voting record and previous comments about LGBT people do not support the idea that he’s an ally to lesbians – or anyone else in the LGBT community, for that matter.

When marriage equality was being debated in 2012, Davies spoke out against the coalition government’s plans to support it, saying their intentions were “barking mad”.

He went on to say that the Conservatives, the senior partner in the coalition government, was at risk of losing a “large number of very loyal activists.”

Davies’ opposition to marriage equality came from his idea that civil partnerships were enough for LGBT people.

Activists supporting civil partnerships at the Old Bailey (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

He said: “If there are any sort of areas where there isn’t full equality with married couples then I’d be more than happy to support making changes to civic ceremonies, so I really don’t know why we need to go ahead with this at all.”

Davies has also claimed that most parents would rather their kids were straight.

He said: “I think most people are very tolerant and have no problem at all if people are gay but, and I hate to say this in a way because I expect it’s going to cause controversy, but I think most parents would prefer their children not to be gay, knowing most parents want grandchildren if nothing else.

After facing a significant backlash over these comments, Davies attempted to make amends by highlighting how he had once fought against a gay boxer.

The MP wrote on Twitter: “Once fought gay boxer. Respect and like. Trained with after bout so not bigoted. Activists calm down- listen to other views.”

As the MP for Monmouth, Davies consistently voted against marriage equality.

(Photo: TheyWorkForYou)

Davies has also voted against the right of lesbians to access fertility treatment.

Related: Prospective same-sex parents face hurdles as NHS fertility treatments set to be axed

Davies has been heavily criticised in the past for his opinions on trans rights and specifically about proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

Earlier this year, it was suggested in a tweet by the LGBT+ Conservatives group that the Monmouth MP was a ‘transphobic c**t’.

This criticism began after the MP said last summer that he believed trans women “should be expected to use male facilities” unless they undergo a sterilising surgery.

He referred to a trans woman as a “he/she”.

Writing on his personal website last year, Davies also condemned the proposed change which would remove the existing regulations and allow trans people to self-identify.

He wrote: “A decision to scrap this would mean that people will simply fill in a form online, and hey presto, they will have changed sex (at least as far as the law is concerned).”

Hey presto, you’re trans, apparently.

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 25: Demonstrators protest for transgender rights on February 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstrators were angry with President Donald Trumps recent decision to reverse the Obama-era policy requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

It’s also really important to remember that trans lesbians exist.

Let’s say that again for anyone who didn’t quite get it the first time around: trans lesbians exist. Non-binary lesbians exist. Lesbians who are trans allies exist.

Lesbians who are dating trans women exist — and they’re still lesbians.

Several of the trans women who were misgendered and referred to as “parasitic” at the event in Parliament are lesbians, including Lily Madigan.

That’s not exactly standing up for lesbians.

Related topics: david davies, LGBT rights, Politics, same sex marriage, Trans, trans rights

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