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Liz Truss is the new equalities minister

Reiss Smith September 10, 2019
Liz Truss holding a red portfolio box

Liz Truss is the new minister for women and equalities. (Getty)

Liz Truss, the MP who previously backed Mumsnet in a row on free speech, has been appointed the new minister for women and equalities.

Downing Street confirmed that Truss has been handed the equalities portfolio on Tuesday (September 10) evening.

She replaces Amber Rudd, who resigned from the government and the Conservative party on Saturday (September 7) in protest at Boris Johnson’s handling of Brexit.

Following the announcement, Truss tweeted: “Great to be appointed minister for women & equalities. Vital we remove barriers to opportunity and enable everyone to be free to live the life they want.”

Liz Truss’ record on LGBT+ rights

Truss, the MP for South West Norfolk, has a mixed record when it comes to LGBT+ rights.

She has consistently voted in favour of same-sex marriage in England and Wales, but abstained from July’s vote to extend those same rights to Northern Ireland along with the majority of the cabinet.

Penny Mordaunt, who was equalities minister at the time of the vote, and her successor Rudd both voted in favour of marriage equality in Northern Ireland. 

However in April 2018, Truss was widely criticised for tweeting her support for the parenting forum Mumsnet, which has seen a surge in anti-trans rhetoric in recent years.

She applauded the website’s founder Justine Roberts “for her approach to free speech,” and shared a Spectator article titled: ‘If Mumsnet can stand up for free speech, why can’t MPs?’

The piece praised the forum for letting users question certain”tenets” of LGBT+ rights, including whether “self-defined gender trumps biological sex.”

Liz Truss will be responsible for GRA reform

Truss’ appointment was welcomed by Fair Play For Women, one of the most vocal groups opposing reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).

As equalities minister, Truss will now inherit responsibility for transforming the act, which governs the legal rights of trans and non-binary people.

The government was due to publish the results of a public consultation on the GRA before its summer recess, along with its proposals on potential changes.

However on July 24, the day Johnson took office, an equalities office spokesperson confirmed that the response had been delayed. 

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