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Rape crisis centre attacked by ‘feminists’ for having gender-neutral toilets

Vic Parsons March 7, 2020
Rape crisis centre attacked by "feminists" for having gender-neutral toilets

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A rape crisis centre in Scotland is being attacked by online “gender critical” activists for having gender-neutral toilets.

The centre, in Edinburgh, has been forced to defend itself on Twitter after the so-called “feminist” activists labelled it “misogynistic” and said that its LGBT-inclusive stance is a threat to women.

A number of tweets – some openly transphobic – were sent to the counselling and support charity, criticising it for having gender-neutral toilets and calling for the preservation of “single-sex spaces”, according to Edinburgh Live.

Responding to the criticism, the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre (ERRC) said: “For those enquiring about the toilet facilities at ERCC, we have one individual disabled access bathroom on our ground floor, and two individual bathrooms on our 2nd floor.

“The signs on each of these 3 bathrooms are all gender neutral in line with our commitment to being LGBT+ inclusive.”

Scottish actor David Paisley tweeted his support for ERRC, saying: “Edinburgh Rape Crisis, who have been providing LGBT+ inclusive services for over a decade, are currently being attacked online for the crime of… Supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault and not excluding trans and non binary people.”

The attacks on ERRC come less than two weeks before the public consultation on reforming Scotland’s gender recognition laws closes.

Potential reforms could simplify the process by which trans people update the gender on their birth certificates, an administrative detail that helps trans people when dealing with paperwork associated with pensions and marriage licenses.

However, anti-trans groups have been spreading misinformation ahead of the public consultation closing, suggesting that reforms to gender recognition laws could enable “predatory men” to access women’s spaces.

These transphobic suggestions have been flatly denied by the Scottish Government, which has already responded to these concerns by conducting an equality impact assessment that examined the impact changing gender recognition laws might have on women and women’s rights.

The equality impact assessment emphatically refuted claims that gender recognition reform would impact women’s rights or present a risk to single-sex spaces.

The existing 2004 law and the draft bill both only govern the process for updating the gender of trans people on their birth certificates. Most other documents already operate on a self-declaratory basis, while discrimination laws apply to all trans people regardless of gender recognition status.

The document states: “The Scottish government has carefully considered whether moving to a statutory declaration-based system for obtaining legal gender recognition, as outlined in the draft Bill, would impact adversely on the rights of women.”

“The Scottish government has concluded that it would not,” it adds.

The public consultation on potential reforms to Scotland’s gender recognition laws closes on 17 March.

More: edinburgh rape crisis centre, gender-neutral bathrooms, online 'gender critical' activists

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