Opinion: Labour leadership transgender pledge ‘absolute nonsense’

Monday, February 24, 2020

Labour activist Lucy Masoud has criticised a pledge signed by some of the party’s leadership hopefuls over transgender rights. These are her views and not talkRADIO’s.

They’ve signed up to this 12-point pledge that guarantees the Gender Recognition Act reforms to go ahead, that trans women are women and that would be made law.

But crucially, they class Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance (groups that wish to protect the single sex exemption in the Equalities Act) as hate groups and they go further and say that anyone associated with these groups should be expelled from the Labour Party.

To say that people like Ruth Serwotka and Kiri Tunks, who are the founders of Woman’s Place UK – these are left wing socialist women who have spent their whole adult life fighting for the rights of LGBT people and fighting for the rights of women, fighting for the rights of the working class – to say that they should be expelled from the Labour Party simply for standing up for female rights is just nothing short of a joke.

What I would say to the author of this Labour 12-point pledge, while they were running around in nappies, the likes of Ruth and Kiri were out fighting for the rights of LGBT people and it’s absolutely disgraceful that they’re treated in this way and described as hate groups.

I’m someone who has campaigned for the Labour Party my whole adult life. I’m a lesbian, I’m a black woman, I am deeply involved in the fight for equality. I am being labelled as a bigot, as transphobic. I am being threatened with expulsion from the Labour Party that I have campaigned for. It’s absolute nonsense.

All we’re trying to do is to say trans women absolutely need to be respected and protected in society. They need facilities that accommodate them when they are victims of domestic violence, when they are victims of sexual violence. But that should not be at the expense of female only rights. As a female I need separate spaces in certain situations. That’s all Woman’s Place UK is saying, that’s all LGB Alliance is saying.

Labour needs to start listening to its female membership, its female voters.

So what myself and an organisation called Labour Women’s Declaration have done in response to this ridiculous 12-point pledge is we are setting up a meeting that is a robust response to that pledge.

We’re Labour voters, we’re Labour women, we’re working class women, we’re ethnic women, we’re gays, we’re lesbians, we’re not going anywhere and you cannot bully us back into the closet.

You cannot bully us out of this party by accusing us of being bigots and transphobics when all we are doing is trying to protect female only spaces.

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