Anti-trans campaigners, prominent and obscure

Naomi Cunnningham, barrister, gave evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee about the GRR Bill on 31 January. Though Robin Moira White, barrister and trans woman, was there, she expressed strong distaste for trans women, whom she sees as men.

Anum Qaisar, SNP MP, put to her that Scottish Women’s Aid and others supported the GRR Bill. Other threats to women’s rights in Scotland include poverty, cuts to services, rape conviction rates, and the experiences of immigrant and refugee women. Yet media attention is devoted to GRR rather than these real issues.

Cunningham called that “whataboutery”. She thought GRR threatened women’s ordinary privacy and dignity. All women are entitled to their own boundaries, and some find it particularly threatening to use a toilet in the presence of men.

She thinks thousands of trans women might get GR. Lord Falconer thought it might be hundreds. She does not know and does not care. She talked of what others call “real transsexuals”, though she did not use the term, a few thousand people envisaged in 2004. She talked of the “man who identifies as a woman who passes,” who has had surgery and hormones, dysphoria for years, assimilated as a woman, where “people would think he was a woman”. But now people might apply who “cross dress for erotic purposes” or to avoid being sent to a men’s prison after they “committed horrible crimes and think they will have a nicer time in a women’s prison,” or just want to exercise power by transgressing women’s boundaries. Not all will be predatory, but there is nothing to stop predatory men.

She says any trans woman without a GRC can be excluded from a women’s service because she is a “man”, contrary to the EHRC statutory code of practice. Unfortunately, Lord Falconer agreed with her. This is becoming the common understanding, without any case law in England to back it up.

She produced an argument I had not heard before. A women’s service which includes trans women to her includes men. “The permission to provide a service for one sex only becomes meaningless”. There is no service which is needed by women and “men with GRCs” because “that is not an actual category at all”. So the entitlement to women’s services ends.

To her, trans inclusion destroys all women’s rights. To me, trans inclusion is a recognition that human categories are fuzzy, and making an exception for a tiny group- less than 1% of the population- who need it. She will never agree with that.

Naomi Cunningham, whom I like and respect because of her Employment Tribunal Claims textbook and blog, which as an ET rep I found useful, finds me repulsive. If 1% of “women” are trans women, that is far too many. She fears us, because we could be dangerous. That ET blog is defunct. Now she blogs on Legal Feminist, where on 10 February she raged about the “law going bonkers” for putting trans women in women’s prisons, just before the guidance in England was changed. Her latest blog is of interest only to trial lawyers and litigants in person, but all her previous ten blogs, long and detailed, were anti-trans. One was against a conversion therapy ban.

She does not tweet in her own name, but is co-founder and chair of Sex Matters, another tiny hate group. So I looked at one of their tweets, and found Marilyn had retweeted it, so took Marilyn as my representative sample of an ATC. Well, this is a blog, not a detailed study.

Marilyn, who shares a name with a New Romantic singer, is a “real actual WOMAN with two beautiful golden retrievers (bitches)”. She tweets about her dogs, and hating trans women. Her pinned tweet is on her dogs, but thirty tweets in three days are anti-trans. Her most recent tweets, as I type, were 3, 13 and 21 hours ago. That is, she goes on twitter several times a day to hate on trans people. This particular hater has not done replies- none of her tweets in those three days are her own words.

I poked about, and found no replies to various anti-trans tweets, but found Lizzie replying to the first trans woman’s tweet I checked. Her latest tweet, a reply, is “I’ll never vote Labour again, due to their shocking disrespect towards women and girls, their utter insanity and their slavish devotion to Transworld. Same with LibDems/Greens, and I will not vote Tory, so am politically homeless. – Lizzie, a woman and Adult Human Female.” In 30 minutes it has had thirteen views, and no likes. One reply is to an ATC- even though the ATC has attacked a trans man, Lizzie corrects him for using a male pronoun.

After scrolling for what seemed like ages, I found a reply from two days ago. It had 53 views, and three likes. It was her reason for not using the term “trans woman”- instead she will only use transsexual, transgender or transvestite. Her latest tweets are, as I type, 3 and 35 minutes, 12 and 16 hours, all anti-trans.


The UK government is working to reduce or remove protection for human rights. Ministers claimed their Bill of Rights Bill would allow UK courts to ignore European Court of Human Rights precedents, though it may have been withdrawn, yet again. Victor Borloz, the United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, visited the UK from 24 April to 5 May, and has given a damning preliminary statement (pdf), before a comprehensive report due before Summer 2024. Continue reading

The effect of the trans ban

What if the law was changed, so that sex was defined as biological sex, and gender recognition stopped having any effect at all?

Would my passport now say “M”? There is no statute on passports. They are issued under the Royal Prerogative, by the Home Secretary. It declares my “sex/sexe”- in English and French. The International Civil Aviation Organisation has standard guidelines on machine-readable passports. The sex recorded might be discretionary, but “to avoid confusion” if the government said sex is biological they might equally decide to record my sex there as M. I do not want to travel on a passport marked M.

What of my driving licence? Now, in the driver number, the second digit is a 5, indicating I am female. I got that before the Gender Recognition Act. If I were male, it would be 0. If I were born in October, November or December it would be 6. “Miss Clare” indicates I am female, but my driver number might call me male. Would the regulations go so far as to demand it called me “Mr Clare”?

Before transition, once, when presenting male, I was utterly desperate, could not find the men’s, and went in the ladies. I was horribly embarrassed, and desperate not to be seen. Such embarrassment, a purely social sanction, is what keeps men out of the women’s loos. A woman, seeing me, would object, and I would know her objection was rightful. But, being a woman, that does not apply to me. Even after the ban, I might go in the women’s. Well, I am one of those Bad Trans, the out-group from whom the Tories will protect the Decent People.

So I go into the loo, I use it, wash my hands, check my lippy, leave like any other woman. Even after sex were redefined, that is not a crime. The problem comes if anyone confronts me.

Now, I have a right to use the loo. If directed to the men’s, I would assert my right to use the women’s. If told there was a restriction, I would want to know what the purported “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim” was, and where I could complain, or where I should send my letter before court action. I would be polite, and hope to make enough problem that they let me past. I have not yet been blocked. Based on the EHRC Code of Practice, laid before parliament in 2011, I hope I would win any court action. It’s a code, so legally more persuasive to a judge than any guidance the EHRC issues.

And after the ban? I would challenge any person blocking my path or objecting to my entry. I would say they have no right to suppose they are certain of my biological sex, or my legal sex, come to that, and no right to ask me because of my right to privacy. But anyone challenging me might say they had a right to ask my legal and biological sex because of the right to privacy of the cis women using the loo.

Now, if someone blocks my path and I push past them, I would say that was asserting my legal rights, so entirely permissible. If they sought to block me, that might be a criminal assault.

After a ban, if I push past them it is I who commit the assault. I could be arrested and charged. If I raise my voice, that could be a “breach of the peace”. In England, that entitles a police officer to arrest me and take me somewhere else. In Scotland, breach of the peace is a crime in its own right.

I might not be confronted, I might just get in, and use the place as normal. That’s the fiendish part of the proposals: single-sex and separate-sex services are governed by the Equality Act. If someone objects, but the staff turn a blind eye or refuse to stop my use of the toilet, the objector may be able to claim damages for indirect discrimination. So the EHRC letter suggests.

Several organisations might want to provide toilets by gender, including me as a woman, rather than by sex. They might be forced to bar me from the women’s, by a threat of legal action by one objector.

Possibly a changing room in a shop might be different. Men’s and women’s clothes are in different areas of the shop. Often, the changing rooms have solid doors, with a lock. If refused entry, I could argue that the rules for allowing a service to be restricted to one sex only are not met. People are entitled to privacy, but they get it, because I cannot see them unclothed. It might work.

Touching another human being in an effort to get where they do not want you to go, or to prevent them going where they want to go, could be a criminal assault. There need be no bodily harm. Partly it depends on what the legal right to go, or prevent access is, or the person’s reasonable belief. It’s a risk. I don’t want a physical confrontation, even if a court might subsequently decide I was in the right.

After twenty years expressing female, I hope I could cope with any embarrassment or hostility. It would be horrible transitioning in such a climate.

The case against the “LGB Alliance”

The Good Law Project argues the “LGB Alliance” (LGBA) should not be a charity. In September the tribunal heard evidence, and in November legal argument, but no judgment has been issued. The GLP gives an account of the case, and links to its legal argument (29 pages) and witness statements (62 pages). GLP asks the tribunal to find that LGBA is not a charity, and direct the Charity Commission to remove it from the register of charities.

LGBA believes trans people and trans rights groups pose a threat to society and endanger women, children, and LGB people, with self-ID laws, trans women in women’s services, medical treatment for trans children and education on gender identity in schools. This is all false. Their campaigning harms LGB people.

The tribunal may not give a decision for months, and may never decide whether the Charity Commission was right to register LGBA as a charity. First, it has to decide whether Mermaids had any right (“standing”) to bring the case. The Charity Commission argue that if Mermaids has no standing, the tribunal should not comment on whether it considers LGBA is a charity. Both GLP and LGBA argue that it should.

The problem is, if Mermaids has no standing but the tribunal say LGBA should not have been called a charity, there is no clarity about what should happen next. Should LGBA lose charitable status? If so, there is no point in a restriction on “standing”. Anyone could bring a case to deregister a charity. GLP argues Mermaids has standing because LGBA works to thwart its activities and reduce its funding.

While waiting for the decision, you could read the GLP’s documents, or this brief introduction. I want to give a flavour of the reasons why LGBA should not have the rights and privileges of a charity, and guide you through those documents. They are drafted by much more experienced lawyers than I, but here is their general drift: Continue reading

Parliament debates blocking Gender Recognition Reform

“Transgender people deserve our respect, our support and our understanding.” Alister Jack and the Tory government proceeded to give us their contempt, gaslighting and othering. He made the most blatantly hypocritical statement in the debate:

“We need to take the heat out of this debate. We are dealing with a reduction in safeguards for women and children.”

No, he was talking about demonising trans people. Stewart Hosie said he should apologise to us. Instead, Stephen Flynn, leader of the SNP at Westminster, made “an apology to those people… who have hopes and aspirations for the future and who have fought so hard for a piece of legislation for so long and now see their hope being taken away from them.”

There are three debates recorded in Hansard: Continue reading

Kemi Badenoch and international gender recognition

The government proposes to take away legal rights from trans people. This is new. Previously, they have denied our legal rights, or proposed additional rights only to refuse them, or threatened to block rights. Now, the Minister “for” women and equalities, Kemi Badenoch, proposes to take rights away. But, will this happen? Probably not. If it did, would it affect any trans people? No.

The Scottish GRR Bill proposes to recognise the gender of people who have changed gender in their country of origin automatically, but now anyone who comes to the UK after a gender change has to apply for another GRC, under GRA s1(1)(b).

Immigrants can get a British GRC if they already have GR abroad. They need evidence of that GR, probably some sort of official document, and a statutory declaration of whether they are married or in a civil partnership. They need to be from a country or territory approved in a list. That list is in The Gender Recognition (Approved Countries and Territories) Order 2011. It includes most of the US, Australia, Canada, and EU, and some other Council of Europe countries. It includes South Africa, South Korea and Uruguay.

Kemi Badenoch proposes to remove those countries if their GR system is not “equivalently rigorous” to the English system. She writes, “It should not be possible for a person who would not satisfy the criteria to obtain UK legal gender recognition to use the overseas recognition route to obtain a UK Gender Recognition Certificate. This would damage the integrity and credibility of the process of the Gender Recognition Act.”

This does not affect Scottish GRCs under the new system. They will still be UK GRCs. But someone from Uruguay or Malta, say, with GR at home, would need a diagnosis by a specialist psychiatrist. That makes no sense, and doctors object. This is ridiculous. The English system has no credibility.

From the UN report on gender identity, these countries use self-declaration: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, and Uruguay.

So, what if someone trans from that list comes to the UK after the UK no longer recognises their GR?

Well, they will still have their original passport, which will give their correct gender. If their driver’s licence is recognised, you don’t need a GRC to get a British licence showing your correct gender (it’s coded in the driver number). If they get “Indefinite leave to remain” in the UK, then they still use their original passport. If they get British citizenship, gender on the passport does not require a GRC.

If they get married, their gender on the marriage certificate will matter to them, but might not require a GRC. Would a registrar insist on writing that a trans woman bride’s previous status was “bachelor” rather than “spinster”?

If they married abroad, that should be recognised whether their gender is recognised or not. Britain recognises gay marriages. England recognises a foreign marriage if it was valid according to local law when it was carried out, and if any previous marriages of the parties were dissolved in a way English law recognises.

Certainly it won’t affect what toilets they use, or even if they can use a women’s refuge.

The GRP gives statistics of the number of GRCs granted, but not whether they are granted to British people or to immigrants. There were 256 in July to September 2022.

Possibly, nobody will be affected by the new regulation. The government, unable to govern the country or avoid recession, resorts to mindless posturing. If they wanted to take action about sexual violence they could fund refuges or prosecute rape. There is no potential incident of sexual violence now, which would be prevented by the regulation. It is done solely for Badenoch to pretend to be protecting cis women by reducing trans rights, and demonise trans people.

They are removing trans people’s rights. They have not done this before. It is the first time LGBT+ legal rights have gone backwards in the UK since Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988.

But, the regulation cannot be introduced without a vote approving it in Parliament. This is the procedure. First, it would go to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. They must ensure it is legal. They should recognise that it breaches human rights and international human rights treaties, and block it.

If it got past that committee, it would be referred to a Delegated Legislation Committee, where any MP can speak. In rare cases, SIs go to the House of Commons for a debate.

If passed, the regulation could be challenged by seeking judicial review. The challenger would have to be a native of one of the countries removed. They might not need to have had their gender changed, or even to be trans. They could show that a potential right had been removed, and argue this was wrong.

It makes me terribly sad. Kemi Badenoch does this not to prevent sexual violence but to attack trans people and foment culture war. The civil service time spent looking at other countries’ GR procedure could be used to imitate them, but instead is used to condemn.

The Scottish Daily Express linked their report to the GRR Bill. The Times claimed that this would allow Westminster to cease to recognise Scottish GRCs, but there is no such power in the Gender Recognition Act. The Guardian did a hostile article, calling it a “trans travel ban”. Well, it is quite unpleasant if New Zealand recognises your transition but your paperwork reverts when you come to the UK. You would still be socially transitioned but there would be this state hostility to your transition.

Added: There were 190 GRCs granted on the “Overseas Track” in 13 years. Badenoch’s ploy is a steamroller to crack an imaginary nut. But the government picks up its campaign against trans people, particularly trans women.

Lisa Keogh

There is always an infinite supply of money for anti-trans hate campaigners to pursue legal action, however pointless. Several students accused anti-trans hate campaigner Lisa Keogh of “referring to women as the weaker sex and…. asserting that racism isn’t a real thing”, and becoming “hostile and aggressive”, shouting at her tutor. She also made a number of hateful comments. The student who formally complained alleged Keogh was misogynistic, prone to disruptive outbursts and behaviour in class and ignored repeated requests by students and a lecturer to desist. The university investigated, but decided the allegations were not proven. It found she did not shout “intentionally”. Nevertheless she managed to raise £26,000 to sue the University: she tried to argue the very act of investigating a complaint was discrimination against her on the grounds of her “gender-critical” beliefs. One donor gave £8000. There are deep pockets available to fund hate.

She wants abortion illegal after twelve weeks, but her twitter bio claims she is “pro-choice”. I conclude she is untruthful. She is prone to ridiculous and intemperate outbursts: she argues abortion is murder, “by definition”. This aspirant lawyer has a strange idea of what a definition is.

Keogh failed to argue that someone who did not share her disgusting beliefs would have been treated any differently. Anyone who was the subject of a complaint would be investigated. Keogh’s claim did not “narrate even a hypothesis upon which her case could be founded”. On indirect discrimination, she did not allege any practice which would disadvantage an anti-trans campaigner, so her case was irrelevant.

Keogh raised arguments about the Public Sector Equality Duty, which applied to the University, but did not base her case on them. So the sheriff did not determine that point. She made vague claims that her human rights were infringed, but did not say how.

The case was thrown out after a “debate”. In Scottish civil procedure, the defender may argue that even if everything the pursuer alleges is true, she would still lose her case. So there was no evidence heard of the allegations.

I dare to hope she is not on course to be a lawyer. June 2021 was the end of the final year of her law degree, after which she would take the one year Diploma in Professional Legal Practice then work for a period before qualification for a firm of solicitors. She says it was her dream to work in the law, but her twitter account describes her as an “eternal student”.

The case decides nothing of importance, and a sheriff court does not produce a binding precedent anyway, even in Scotland. Its main interest is how far the haters will go to attack any institution that dares to criticise, or even investigate, their hatred, and how much money they have. They want to make institutions too frightened to protect trans rights. However the sheriff quoted settled law, that an investigation the University was obliged to undertake could not be a “detriment” under discrimination law. The transphobes have unlimited funds for court actions, and their every loss makes the law in our favour clearer.

In May 2022, Keogh stood in the Scottish local elections for the Alba Party in the Arbroath West, Letham and Friockheim ward, winning 86 first preference votes, coming last of ten candidates. Nevertheless The Times saw fit to report on her candidacy, quoting Keogh saying some inane pablum, and also Trans Is Bad. It gave them yet another excuse to print that women’s rights are under threat from trans people. Altogether the Times has seven articles to date on Keogh.

Keogh is a mediocre and ridiculous person, devoid of interest to anyone. But an individual pays her £8000, and the Times lauds her, because she is not ashamed to hate trans people.

Download the pdf judgment.

UN treaties mandate trans self-declaration

The UN says trans people should self-determine our gender. If we cannot, we cannot exercise our human rights, and this is sex discrimination against women. So Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, wrote to the British government supporting the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

Efforts to delay or dilute the Bill use falsehoods based on stigma and prejudice, he says. Passing the Bill is the government’s obligation under international human rights law. Preventing violence against women requires protection of trans people.

In 2021, the expert made a year-long inquiry into gender frameworks, considering hundreds of academic papers, 42 submissions from member states, and dozens of expert consultations. He concluded:

International human rights law says gender identity must be protected from discrimination and violence. Legal recognition of gender identity by self-determination is necessary to deconstruct institutional and social causes of discrimination and violence. But anti-trans campaigners use stigma and prejudice to artificially create moral panic and perpetuate violence.

In 2018, he considered international human rights law to dismantle systems of pathologisation, stigma and prejudice against trans people. He concluded self-determined gender is a cornerstone of a person’s identity, so protected by the human right to recognition before the law.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said States should eliminate intersectional discrimination, including on the basis of gender identity. It said the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women applies to gender discrimination as well as sex discrimination. UNESCO says discrimination based on gender identity is unlawful. So do the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and other bodies. Self-determination is necessary for our mental and physical health.

The UN understands gender to include real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Gender-based analysis transcends the sex binary. UNESCO says sex discrimination covers not only physiology but also the social construction of gender stereotypes. So a State should allow citizens to change their gender markers on official documents.

The UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls says that not conforming to gender stereotypes makes people, especially trans women, vulnerable to violence and discrimination. The idea that people can be sorted at birth into either male or female “unduly restricts freedom”.

The European Court of Human Rights recognises a right to self-determination of gender as “one of the most intimate aspects of a person’s private life”.

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence defines gender as “the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men.” It prohibits gender identity discrimination. Here, protection for trans is inextricably linked to protection for everyone who ever had a desire outside their assigned at birth stereotype. Because that is how it is in real life: if authoritarians want to control people by enforcing gender stereotypes, they first must drive the trans people into hiding. Where there are trans people unafraid to be ourselves, gender stereotypes are subverted.

An EU directive, 2006/54/EC, says the principle of equal treatment of men and women does not just apply to sex discrimination, but also gender reassignment discrimination.

The Organisation of American States has 35 members including the US. Its convention on eradication of violence against women 1994 initiated its approach to gender-based violence. Since 2008 its General Assembly resolutions have condemned violence and discrimination based on gender identity, and the core state obligation of non-discrimination covers gender identity.

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights 2014 Resolution on protection against violence on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) says gender identity discrimination is forbidden under the African Charter.

He quotes the Yogyakarta Principles on legal recognition of gender identity, which were not a claim of right but a recognition of rights in human rights treaties. States have an obligation to provide a simple system for gender recognition based on self-identification. It should not require abusive requirements, such as a medical report, surgery, sterilisation or divorce. It should acknowledge nonbinary identities, and include children under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Countries including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, and Uruguay have abolished the need for a medical report. For people under 18, where their parents or guardians will not consent the court can. In Norway the lower age limit is six, with parental consent.

Anti-trans campaigners say that restriction on trans people is necessary to protect cis people. But the Expert states obstacles to legal gender recognition do not protect women. We should be judged as individuals, not as a group. Any restriction on an individual trans person must not be based on stigma or prejudice, but on evidence that it is the only way to achieve reasonable aims.

The Expert states there is no evidence that current restrictions on gender recognition in Scotland, which are the same as those which will be in England indefinitely, are remotely connected to protection from sexual violence. Trans women are not “predatory males”.

The expert says “gender critical” ideology mimics patriarchal reduction of women to reproductive functions, and ignores feminist scholarship. A fraudulent or predatory person might pretend to be part of any minority in order to find victims, and that should not restrict the rights of any minority.

250m people live in countries which have self-declaration of trans people. 100m more live in regions within countries which have self-id by regional law, including Kansas, Nevada, Quebec, Baja California, Catalonia, and Tasmania. Nepal and Pakistan allow official self-id as nonbinary. The expert has no information that predatory men have used the self-id process for the purpose of perpetrating sexual violence. Where trans women are criminals, they have sought gender recognition because they are trans, not to enter segregated spaces.

So he calls on Scotland to enact the Bill. The implication is that England and Wales should do the same.

Sex, gender recognition, and the Equality Act

Could my sex be “that of a woman” without me being a woman? Could I be a woman, but not a woman according to the definition of “woman” in the Equality Act? Or does the Scottish Public Boards legislation only affect Scottish Public Boards (SPB)? The Outer House of the Court of Session considered that legislation again. The case may be appealed to the Inner House, which previously decided that the definition of “woman” did not include a trans woman without a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), for the purposes of the Scottish Parliament’s devolved powers to enact legislation on SPBs. But I have a GRC.

s9 of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) says my “sex [became] that of a woman” when I got my GRC, and that my acquired gender for all purposes is female. Note “female” not “feminine”- sex and gender are conflated. The Scottish gender recognition Bill leaves this section unchanged.

But s212 of the Equality Act says “’woman’ means a female of any age”. The purpose of s212 was to protect girls: your parents can make a claim under the Equality Act for you before you become adult.

The petitioners in the case, FWS, claim to campaign for women’s rights and children’s rights. However they only campaign against trans rights. This time, they couched it as a loss of rights: a trans man with a GRC would no longer be preferred for appointment to an SPB. They demanded a “rigid biological definition of sex” so that a GRC would change nothing.

To enact the SPB legislation, the Scottish government had obtained specific devolved powers from Westminster. The Scottish government argued that the first FWS case only concerned the extent of those powers, and decided they did not include the right to prefer trans women without a GRC for appointment to SPBs. So the case did not affect any other matter defining “woman”, “man”, “gender” or “sex”. FWS had won almost nothing. My GRC says I am female, so I am female according to the SPB legislation. This does not affect the operation of the Equality Act, which is yet to be decided.

The EHRC intervened, as the public body which supports Equality law. It confirmed the value of a GRC- the GRA shows there is no irreconcilable difference between gender and sex. It is not possible to have an acquired gender without an acquired sex. It agreed with counsel for the Scottish government.

The LGB Alliance intervened to say that trans rights are opposed to gay and lesbian rights. The Equality Network, a real LGB rights campaign group, said the opposite.

The judge looked at the first SPB case, and concluded (para 44) that its basis is that “sex” and “gender reassignment” are separate protected characteristics, not that “sex” in the Equality Act always and only means “biological” sex. The case is authority only on SPBs, not wider discrimination law or the interpretation of the Equality Act.

Then the judge considered whether a trans woman with a GRC recognising her gender as female is a “woman” as defined by the Equality Act. She considered the meaning of the GRA. It says my sex is female. A trans man with a GRC, his sex is male, “for all purposes”. The language is plain.

She then considered the Equality Act. She decided it did not define “woman” as “biological woman”. The word “biological” does not appear in the Act. It did not amend s9 of the GRA which says my sex is female. So, my sex is female. So, para 53, “sex” in the Equality Act includes someone whose sex is recognised by a GRC.

The petition was dismissed.

This may affect the vote later this month on the Scottish gender recognition Bill. A GRC is shown to be important. But I would argue that trans women can still be excluded from women’s services if it is “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”, because of the Equality Act sch 3 para 28. So the Bill does not, as the fearmongers would have you believe, let men in women’s toilets. It lets women in women’s toilets.

And, once again, the Scottish Public Boards legislation affects the jobs on Scottish Public Boards. A few hundred jobs at most. If there are more men on a board than women, and recruiting a new member a man and woman applicant are equally qualified, the woman should be preferred. The Scottish government wanted that to include all trans women, but the first FWS case decided it did not. Then they wrote guidance saying it included trans women with a GRC, and the second FWS case decided that, yes, it does. But there may never be a Scottish Public Board where a trans woman, with or without a GRC, applies for membership, a man applies at the same time, and they are equally qualified. All that litigation, over years, and it may not affect a single person. The hate campaigners seem to have a bottomless fountain of money for pointless court actions.