Much needed clarity

The adults are getting involved. Sure took them a long time.

The equalities regulator has said the Government must urgently publish its delayed trans guidance for schools to provide teachers with “much needed clarity”.

Marcial Boo, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s chief executive, revealed that the watchdog had been privately urging the Department for Education (DfE) to “expedite” their new guidance, amid wrangling in Government over how to respond to children seeking to change their gender identity in schools.

Wrangling in government over it – as if they were “activists” on Twitter.

Writing to campaigners, Mr Boo also admitted that the EHRC’s own official guidance, in place for almost a decade, had been wrong to tell teachers that they would automatically be guilty of anti-trans discrimination if they referred to a “previously female pupil” as a girl. He said the regulator was urgently correcting “inaccuracies” in its “technical guidance” on the application of the Equality Act in schools.

This has been their mistake all along: equality has nothing to do with it. It’s not equality to force people to pretend that men are women, and it’s not inequality to say that men are not women. It’s not about equality. It’s about identity, which is a much squishier category, and therefore a much trickier one to try to enforce. That is obviously all the more true when the “identity” issue is people claiming to be the other sex. Equality really has nothing to do with that.

Campaigners for women and children’s rights described the EHRC’s admission that its own guidance was incorrect as “enormously welcome” and a “crucial step towards the |Government producing sound guidance for schools”.

Yes, it seems like a big deal. I wish we could have something similar here…without having to take Trump along with it.

…in a letter to the Sex Matters campaign group, which alerted the EHRC to “errors” in the guidance, Mr Boo said: “You raise important and complex areas of equality law. For example, as you suggest, it may not be directly discriminatory for a school not to refer to a child by their preferred gender (where it differs from their legal sex). However, schools must carefully consider how they justify and consistently apply their policies on this matter to avoid any risk of indirect discrimination.”

Well done Sex Matters.

Helen Joyce, director of advocacy at Sex Matters, said: “When Sex Matters wrote to the EHRC, we argued that a school refusing to refer to a boy as a girl, or a girl as a boy, is not discriminating against a ‘trans child’. In fact it is protecting that child, because biological sex is a crucial factor in safeguarding.”

Call young Sally “Sam” and let her change clothes with the boys, and see what happens.

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