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Michael Cashman and Baroness Barker double down on trans support after toxic debate in House of Lords

Vic Parsons February 28, 2020
Michael Cashman, Baroness Barker restate support for trans community

Baroness Liz Barker at the London Lesbian and Gay switchboard 40th birthday in 2014. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Michael Cashman and Baroness Barker have spoken out in support of the transgender community after a House of Lords debate saw anti-trans views aired in Britain’s upper chamber.

In an hour-long debate this week, Lord Blencathra, a Conservative peer, demanded the government stand up to the “small, militant, transgender fascist lobby”.

The Monday debate was supposedly about the provision of changing rooms and bathrooms in public buildings, but quickly spiralled into a debate about whether trans women are women.

The House of Lords had also heard anti-trans arguments about trans women posing a danger to women and girls in public bathrooms.

In statements to PinkNews, independent peer Michael Cashman and Lib Dem peer Liz Barker made it clear that the House of Lords was no place for peddling anti-trans myths like this.

“This was a perfect opportunity for those who support the campaign run by A Woman’s Place to set out the evidence in support of their case,” Barker said.

“Yet again they failed to do so. This debate was just another opportunity to hurl unsubstantiated allegations and insults at trans women.”

Lord Cashman added: “Such hurtful and wilful misrepresentation of trans women in particular, and trans people in general, is entirely unacceptable.

“We enter politics in order to enlighten public opinion, never to reinforce prejudice.

“Diminishing someone’s right to live as themselves and to be treated equally and fairly is entirely unacceptable.”

Barker and Cashman are vice chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group on global LGBT+ rights.

The House of Lords also heard from Lord Lucas, who bafflingly railed against gender-neutral toilets in public institutions on the grounds that he doesn’t think “any woman really wants to wash her bloody underwear when she has flooded during a period in front of men”.

Trans people in the UK face a sharp rise in hate-crime attacks in public, discrimination in employment and bullying at school.

But this does not stop the media and politicians from peddling dangerous anti-trans myths, like the one about trans people posing a danger to women and children.

 

 

 

 

 

More: gender-neutral bathrooms, Liz Barker, Michael Cashman, trans rights

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