Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne wants to stop trans women using women’s changing rooms
Scottish entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne is apparently comfortable breaking the law in order to keep trans women out of women’s changing rooms at his health clubs.
In a series of tweets last weekend, Bannatyne repeated a selection of anti-trans claims about transgender women.
This included his view that plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to simplify the process by which transgender people update the gender on their birth certificate is “endangering the safety of women and kids“.
The following day, he said: “Women want to be free to dress and undress in peace. If we allow any man that claims to be a Tran [sic] to walk into that open changing room they feel afraid.”
“There is a very simple lotion [sic] supported by around 98 per cent of the population. Penises in one changing room non-penises in the other changing room,” Bannatyne added.
Bannatyne, who owns the chain Bannatyne Health Clubs, also replied to a tweet in which he appeared to be happy to break the law to keep trans women out of changing rooms at his health clubs.
“No bloke who thinks hes [sic] a woman would be welcome in a changing room with my daughters in it,” a Twitter user called George who describes himself as the “world’s worst gambler” in his bio, said to Bannatyne.
Bannatyne replied by quoting George’s tweet and adding: “Or mine. Not whilst I can stop it.”
By saying this, Bannatyne is apparently happy to contravene UK equalities law, under which it is illegal to refuse trans women access to women’s bathrooms.
Or mine. Not whilst I can stop it. https://t.co/XbOAs6WBRD
— Duncan Bannatyne (@DuncanBannatyne) February 20, 2020
Trans people are protected from discrimination by the UK Equality Act 2010, which includes “gender reassignment” as one of nine protected characteristics.
The others are race, age, disability, religious beliefs, sex, marital status, being pregnant and sexual orientation.
Gender reassignment means a person whose gender identity is different from the gender they were assigned when they were born.
Trans people do not have to have undergone medical intervention or be diagnosed with gender dysphoria to have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment and be protected from discrimination.
Excluding trans women from women’s bathrooms because they are transgender constitutes direct discrimination under the 2010 Equality Act.
It appears Duncan Bannatyne either does not understand or is happy to break the law, which is explicit that it is direct discrimination to exclude trans women from women’s changing rooms whether they have had lower surgery or not.
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He later said: “Nobody is attacking trans… The issue is about protect women and enduring [sic] they have privacy to get undressed/changed etc.”
It’s not the first time Bannatyne, who lives in Portugal with his third wife, has appeared to misunderstand UK law.
In March 2019, the David Lloyd gym chain ran into trouble when it said its policy was to force trans people to use changing rooms of their “birth gender”.
David Lloyd said that they only allowed trans people to use the changing room corresponding to their gender identity if they’d updated the gender on their birth certificate – a potential breach of equalities law.
At the time, Bannatyne tweeted his agreement with David Lloyd, saying: “We have been doing that for a while.”
He added: “Trans people can exercise in any gym in UK. The question is about where they can get changed.”
Bannatyne Health Clubs declined to comment on Duncan Bannatyne’s views when asked by PinkNews.