he heads the equality watchdog that has defended controversial guidance saying transgender people can be legally excluded from the single-sex space in certain circumstances, and called for calm in the debate. essay.

Kishwer Falkner, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said activists would not force a change to guidance issued earlier this week.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Baron Falkner said: “We do not make the law, but it is our governing function to uphold it, independent of governments, advocacy groups or vested interests. deliver”.

I am calling on everyone, regardless of their sincere opinion, to cool down the debate

In the first guidance released on the matter, the EHRC said that organizations such as gyms and gyms can legally prevent, limit or modify people’s access to transgender into single-sex services under certain circumstances, such as to prevent injury, to allow privacy, or to ensure health and safety.

It must balance the impact on all users of the service and demonstrate “good cause,” the organization added.

But the decision has sparked backlash from transgender groups and LGBT+ charity Stonewall, who say it has the potential to cause more confusion and a higher risk of illegal discrimination.

Lady Falkner wrote that despite “the often malicious tone of debate in the media or online”, the British people, “with their distinctive sense of fair game understand this to be a complex issue.” complex and each situation requires a balanced and carefully considered approach”.

The EHRC is the governing body of the Equality Act of 2010, which protects people against discrimination because of their protected characteristics, including sex and transsexuality.

“With nine different protected features to consider, each with unique interests and needs, it is inevitable that some rights will overlap,” said Lady Falkner.

“The role of the EHRC is to balance those things.

“One such example is the provision of spaces for single-sex people.

“The law is clear that organizations can sometimes restrict their access to services to one gender, just as it is clear that transgender people have the right to live their lives without discrimination. about the sex they identify”.

She also wrote: “Sometimes, the right to compete doesn’t mean conflict.”

Saying that issues of gender and gender identity have dominated discussions since she was appointed EHRC chair in 2020, Lady Falkner appeals to everyone, “regardless of their honest opinion. their members, let’s lower the temperature of the debate and work constructively with us to achieve a more just society for all.”

She said the guidance, which follows a clear call from the Commons Equality and Women’s Committee and service providers, is an “attempt to help” organizations understand the Equality Act.

This week, the Prime Minister said women should have access to single-sex spaces in places like hospitals and prisons.

In a nod to guidance from the equality watchdog, Boris Johnson said: “I also happen to think that women should have space, whether it’s a hospital or a prison, a changing room or whatever a place reserved for women”.

He also said “biological men” should not compete in women’s sports when asked about the Government’s decision not to include transgender people in the Government’s proposed ban on conversion therapy.

Last week, the Government faced fierce criticism over a range of different pieces of legislation on the promised law and whether transgender people are protected by it.


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