Trans rights: suggested wording for motions, August 2020

This branch stands in solidarity with our trans siblings and calls on the government to provide comprehensive and timely care and to uphold trans people’s right to equal access to services and facilities.

We believe:

• Trans men are men. Trans women are women. Non-binary people are non-binary.

• Trans people face severe persecution in our society, and we stand in solidarity with the trans community

• Trans people should have equal access to all services and facilities according to their gender identity, including access to domestic violence refuges. Discrimination needs to be countered in order for trans people to feel able to access medical care – e.g.: trans men need to feel confident that they can access cervical screening without having to identify as women.

• Trans people who seek it should be able to access timely medical intervention to enable transition

• Trans people should be able to legally change their gender without any costs, with minimal bureaucratic hurdles.

• The Labour Party should be a welcoming environment, and transphobia, i.e. denial of the existence of trans people, must not be tolerated.

We call on the Labour Party to:
• Clearly, consistently and determinedly argue in parliament for reform to the GRA to enable trans people to self-identify without the need for medical approval. Argue for removal of the ‘spousal veto’.
• Resist any reduction in the rights of trans people under the Equalities Act
• Treat complaints of transphobia as seriously as complaints of other discrimination


In union branches, wording from the text above could be combined with wording analogous to the following used in the RMT union.

1. [For submission to 2021 AGM]

RULE CHANGE TO INCLUDE TRANS PEOPLE IN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION RULE

In Rule 1, clause 4(d): add after ‘sex’, ‘gender transition or identity’.

2. [For submission to LGBT+ Advisory Committee]

SUPPORT FOR MEMBERS’ TRANSITION AND NAME CHANGE

THIS UNION NOTES THAT:

1. many members change their name and/or title on occasion

2. this requires workplace documentation and forms of address to be changed

THIS UNION BELIEVES THAT:

1. this is for various reasons, including gender transition, marriage, divorce, religious conversion

2. these situations are often difficult, and made more traumatic by prejudice and discrimination

3. employers can be obstructive and unhelpful in processing name, title and/or gender changes, to the detriment of the worker concerned

4. legal support can be very useful to workers in preparing documentation and tackling discrimination

THIS UNION DEMANDS THAT employers process workers’ changes of name, title and/or gender on the basis of self-declaration and without unnecessary obstacles and delay.

THIS UNION RESOLVES TO:

1. equip its reps to give effective support to members in this situation

2. challenge employers to deal effectively with members’ name, title and/or gender changes

3. provide free legal support to members who wish to change their name, title and/or gender, including, for example, in the preparation of documentation for (enrolled or unenrolled) deed polls

4. publicise this service in order to make members aware of it and to make clear our commitment to anti-discrimination.



Background notes:

• Over the lockdown period we are no closer to hearing definite plans from the government regarding GRA reforms, despite 70% of those participating in its consultation being in favour of proposed reforms.

• In April Liz Truss made a speech that implied a reduction in access of trans young people to appropriate healthcare, and that restrictions may be introduced to restrict trans people’s access to single sex services. It was reported that Johnson would announce that the proposed reforms would be scrapped. It now seems that he is not planning on making this announcement at the present time. The GRA reforms appear, once again to be on hold. But the fear for many is that the government may instead move to further restrict trans people’s rights to transition, healthcare, equal access to facilities, and legal recognition.

• As Labour party members we are concerned that Keir Starmer has not made the position of the Labour Party clear. The recent comments by Rosie Duffield MP do not appear to have been challenged by Keir Starmer.

• At present trans people continue to face severe persecution in our society (41 % experiencing a hate crime in the last twelve months). Even within the labour movement there is widespread misunderstanding about access to women’s services, which has led to instances of transphobia and difficulty in having reasoned discussions. There have also been instances of outright hostility against trans people, leading some to feel unwelcome in the our party. Trans people continue to struggle to access facilities: they have extensive waiting times of up to five years for an initial medical appointment during transition depending on where they are in the country, with an average waiting time of 33-36 months in London. This has a direct and severe effect on mental health. Taken together the difficulties trans people face mean there are far higher levels of depression, and suicide attempts among this group of the population. (see references below)

So Labour should:

• Unambiguously make clear our support for trans rights
• Clearly, consistently, and determinedly argue in parliament for investment in trans physical health and mental health services, so all trans people are able to access the specialist healthcare required in a timely way. This must include full access to appropriate medical care and support for trans children and teenagers
• Organise education at branch level to ensure that members are aware of issues effecting our trans brothers and sisters, and to address fears or misunderstandings about access to women-only services and spaces.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/feb/26/trans-patients-in-england-face-soul-destroying-wait-for-treatment

https://www.dpt.nhs.uk/our-services/gender-identity/waiting-times

Waiting times

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/lgbt-britain-trans-report

Click to access trans_stats.pdf

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