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Labour councillor quits over transgender women being allowed to use female toilets

Josh Jackman July 31, 2018

Sinnott has objected to the new policy, which would bring the council in line with the law (AnnMSinnott/twitter)

A Labour councillor has resigned because transgender women are permitted to use women’s bathrooms.

Ann Sinnott, who had sat on Cambridge City Council for four years, left after accusing the council of being in “dereliction of the law,” saying it has “insidiously dismantled” women’s rights.

This is despite the Equality Act 2010 protecting trans people’s right to use their bathroom of choice, whether they have had surgery or not.

Sinnott accused the council of being in “dereliction of the law” (ann sinnott/linkedin)

The Government emphasised this fact last month in response to a petition from anti-trans campaigners, but it has not stopped the activists.

Sinnott resigned after Sarah Brown, a former Lib Dems councillor who became the only openly trans politician to be elected in the UK when she won her 2010 election, sought to bring the council into line with the Equalities Act.

Brown, a polyamorous lesbian campaigner who suffered horrific online abuse while standing for election earlier this year, followed the example of activists in many other councils in raising the issue.

Sarah Brown was a Lib Dem representative on the council

Despite dozens of authorities having now changed their guidelines to clarify that trans people can use their chosen bathroom, Sinnott objected to the proposed new policy.

The 68-year-old, who also authored Breastfeeding Older Children, wrote a letter to council chief executive Antoinette Jackson in which she gave two anecdotal examples of male-presenting people using women’s bathrooms before attacking the council.

“Cambridge city council knowingly stands in dereliction of the law,” she wrote, according to The Times, even though the new policy would bring it in line with the law.

Sinnott said the council had “insidiously dismantled” women’s rights (ann sinnott/facebook)

“I have no wish to be party to unlawfulness, nor will I collude in keeping this matter from Cambridge women, and other residents — they have the right to know.

“I do not want to be a member of a council that fails to recognise that female-only facilities are needed by women as a generality,” she continued.

“Nor do I wish to be associated with a council that effectively treated Cambridge women with contempt, while it insidiously dismantled their rights.”

When contacted by PinkNews, Sinnott responded with an automated email which read: “I resigned on Mon 30 July because the Council’s Equality Policy – by which female-only services in Cambridge Council owned facilities were abolished – is in breach of the Equality Act 2010.”

In response to the Labour councillor’s resignation, Jackson said: “The policy has been in place for eight years and no one had queried the wording in that period and in June it was drawn to our attention that the wording wasn’t consistent with legislation.

Sinnott had been on the council for four years (cambridge.gov)

“We are actively reviewing the policy but weren’t ready to take something to the June scrutiny meeting so will be discussing it at the next meeting in October to make sure any amendments we make are in line with legislation.

“I’m very sorry to see Ann resign as a councillor,” she added. “It’s always sad to see a councillor leave.”

Earlier this month, Pride in London was “hijacked” by a group of anti-trans campaigners who forced their way to the front of the march.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan condemned the protest, saying that “transphobia is never acceptable,” while Pride in London called it as a “vile stunt.”

More: bathrooms, Cambridge, cambridge city council, Labour party, lib dems, Politics, Trans, Transgender, UK

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