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Trades Union Congress, with 5.5 million members, comes out for trans rights while condemning LGB Alliance

Vic Parsons September 17, 2020
TUC: Trades Union Congress condemns 'anti-trans' group LGB Alliance

Trades Union Congress president Gail Cartmail. (Twitter/The_TUC)

Portraying trans rights as dangerous to women and children is “reminiscent of homophobic lies of the past and we reject this”, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said in a motion emphatically standing with trans and non-binary people.

Condemning “anti-trans campaigners” as “deliberately stoking dissention between LGB and T sections of our communities”, the TUC also strongly came out against anti-trans organisations in the UK.

The “anti-trans LGB Alliance“, the TUC said, is one of the groups that “are seeking to roll back the existing rights of trans people”.

The TUC is the federation of trade unions in England and Wales, representing 5.5 million workers from 48 affiliated unions. Its current general secretary is Frances O’Grady, with the socialist feminist Gail Cartmail as president.

It passed the motion in support of trans rights and called for a progressive reform of the Gender Recognition Act – the 2004 law that governs legal gender recognition for adult trans men and women – at its 2020 Congress this week.

The Congress also reaffirmed its “wholehearted commitment to trans rights”.

In the motion, the TUC said it recognised that “transphobic attacks” in social and mainstream media are led by groups who want to roll back trans rights; that the Tories are using trans rights as “a wedge issue” to divide working-class people; and called out newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch for “regularly promoting… myths and tropes about trans and non-binary people”.

TUC calls myth that trans rights threaten women ‘reminiscent of homophobic lies of the past’.

The TUC also firmly stated its support for non-binary people, saying that “for all social purposes, trans women should be treated as women and trans men treated as men” and that “other gender identities (non-binary etc) are equally authentic”.

“This is a social question rather than a scientific one,” the TUC noted. “Past attempts to categorise human beings by purely scientific methods have often led to barbaric outcomes.”

It added that “wilfully misgendering people is unacceptable” and that monitoring questions about sex or gender that rely on the gender binary are “discriminatory against non-binary people”.

The TUC also noted that: “Transphobia is continuing during lockdown and beyond, clinic waiting times are increasing, and gender recognition reform is again delayed.

“Global campaigns by reactionary organisations including the Alliance Defending Freedom are supported by powerful evangelical and other conservative Christian institutions. These organisations are also homophobic, biphobic and against women’s rights and they have financial resources to support legal cases.

“Many conservatives have tried to portray trans rights as a danger to women and also children. This is reminiscent of homophobic lies of the past and we reject this.

“These issues have been made more contentious by our society’s deep gender segregation. We should fight for all public places to be safe spaces.”

The TUC follows the British Medical Association, the UK’s trade union for doctors, in emphatically supporting the trans and non-binary community.

The BMA on Tuesday ruled that trans and non-binary people should be able to legally self-declare their gender, in a motion that also called for progressive GRA reform and protecting healthcare for trans youth.

More: BMA, british medical association, gender recognition act, GRA Reform, lgb alliance, trades union congress, trans rights, tuc

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