Let’s all pretend we don’t know

What on earth is this supposed to mean?

Saying “sex” means “biological sex” is a change? From what? What does it mean in the Equality Act now? Height, nationality, hobby?

They need advice? They don’t know what “sex” means?

So we’ll have to read what they say.

On 21 February 2023, the Minister for Women and Equalities asked for our advice on the definition of the protected characteristic of sex in the Equality Act 2010.

Section 11 of the Equality Act 2006 allows the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to advise the UK Government on the effectiveness of equality law.

The EHRC’s initial response to this request is set out in a letter sent to the Minister on 3 April 2023.

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chairwoman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

“A change to the Equality Act 2010, so that the protected characteristic of ‘sex’ means biological sex, could bring clarity in a number of areas, but potential ambiguity in others.

“Our response to the Minister’s request for advice suggests that the UK Government carefully identify and consider the potential implications of this change.”

So in the Equality Act 2010 “sex” currently means…what? Social sex? Cultural sex? Psychological sex? Literary sex? Political sex? Fashion sex? Eye of the beholder sex? Possible sex? Approximate sex? Fictional sex?

“Should they wish to pursue work in this area, we recommend detailed policy and legal analysis be undertaken, in compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty and with due regard to any possible disadvantages for trans men and trans women.”

Oh, so that’s it. The definition of “sex” now has to cater to people who think they’re the sex they’re not.


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