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Trans rights protest to be held in Rishi Sunak’s constituency as tensions rise ahead of Tory gender law reform

Vic Parsons July 13, 2020
Rishi Sunak: Trans rights protest to be held in chancellor's constituency

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06: Chancellor Rishi Sunak leaves Downing Street after the C-19 committee meeting on April 6, 2020 in London, England. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was kept overnight in hospital after experiencing persistent symptoms of COVID-19. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab chaired Monday morning's coronavirus meeting in his place, but the government said Mr. Johnson remained "very much in charge." (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

A demonstration calling for better rights for trans and non-binary people will be held in the constituency of chancellor Rishi Sunak next Sunday.

The protest will be held in Richmondshire on July 19, just two days before parliament’s summer recess – the Conservatives’ self-imposed deadline to announce their plans for trans rights in the UK.

The Tory announcement will include publishing the results of a huge 2018 public consultation on potential reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and the proposed course of action.

The GRA is the 2004 law that trans people use to have their gender legally recognised, by obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate that is used to update the gender marker on a birth certificate.

The GRA was considered pioneering when it was introduced but is now widely seen as out of date, overly bureaucratic and difficult to use – which is why the government decided to reform it.

The potential reforms, which were announced in 2017 by Theresa May’s government but have since been repeatedly kicked into the long grass, could make it more straightforward for trans people to gain legal recognition of their gender.

Trans rights demonstration to be held in Rishi Sunak's constituency
Trans rights protest in London (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty)

LGBT+ campaigners also called for the requirement that trans people have a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to be removed, for the removal of the “spousal veto” – which means trans people’s spouses can block them from legal gender recognition – and for legal recognition to be extended to 16- and 17-year-olds, as well as non-binary trans people.

But it was leaked in the Sunday Times on June 14 that the government plans to scrap GRA reform and will instead bring in new protections for single-sex public spaces and examine trans youth’s access to healthcare – widely slammed as a rollback of trans rights.

The protest on Sunday, which will be held in Richmond Market Square, has eight key demands for trans rights in the UK.

These include asking for the results of the public consultation on GRA reform to be respected, safeguarding of trans people’s right to self-identify and live as their gender, official recognition of non-binary people and better LGBT+ education in schools.

Information about the protest in the constituency of Rishi Sunak, Richmondshire, can be found here.

More: gender recognition act, GRA Reform, non-binary, Rishi Sunak, Theresa May, trans right

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