Prime minister Theresa May fielded criticism from Tory MP David TC Davies on the proposals for Trans reforms.
MP Davis is an opponent of LGBT+ rights and has led resistance to the plans within Parliament. On the 24th of Oct, the MP challenged prime minister Theresa May on the issue during a prime minister questions.
According to Davis: “Women who have got concerns about proposals to change the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow self-definition of gender, have had their meeting venues cancelled, been subject to intimidation and even been dragged into court as a result as private prosecutions.”
Prime Minister Theresa May was in defence of the government plan but proceeded to add that the issue was a sensitive one.
Prime Minister May said: “He has raised a critical subject. It is right that we are making these proposals about gender reform, but it is a very sensitive issue, and we do have to make sure that as any changes are made, we are taking into account the potential impact it could have about women.”
MP Davis also appealed to the prime minister to individually “agree to a short meeting with a victim of sexual violence who believes that these plans will needlessly put more women in danger.”
The UK government has made consultations on the proposed changes to the G.R.A ( Gender Recognition Act ), to allow trans citizens gain legal recognition in a much easier way, but the proposal didn’t get a warm welcome as it has been opposed by a number of pressure groups who claimed to be concerned about the effect the G.R.A would have on women.
Ahead of the closure of the consultation on the 22nd of October 2018, a public statement was issued by the government equality office where they addressed some speculations in the media which they consider inaccurate about what the reform would be like. “We have always made it clear that any reform of the Gender Recognition Act will not change the exceptions under the Equality Act that allow provision for single and separate sex spaces.”
Prime minister May, however, did not commit to personally meet with the unnamed campaigner whom MP Davis talked about but she promised to see that government officials have a meeting with them on her behalf.
May stated that: “I’m very sorry to hear of the experience of the individual that he mentioned in his question. In the run-up to and during the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act, officials did meet with over 90 different groups, including LGBT groups, women’s groups, refuges and domestic abuse charities, but this is an important and sensitive issue, and we want voters to be heard. I will ask a minister from the Government Equalities Office to meet with him and the individual concerned to hear directly about their experience.”
This recent comment made by the prime minister is a significant shift in her tone as she first backed the G.R.A during the 2017 PinkNews Awards.
At the award, Prime Minister Theresa May had said: “We have set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act and streamline and de-medicalise the process for changing gender because being trans is not an illness and it shouldn’t be treated as such.”
Back in March, there was a report that in a meeting of anti-transgender activists which was hosted by MP Davis, trans people where were described as “sexual fetishes” and “parasites”. After the report of details from the meeting was published by Pink News, the MP requested that they cease all forms of communication with him.
At the time, MP Davis told PinkNews: “The paper [sic] does not attempt to report news in an impartial fashion or to deal fairly with anyone who takes a different point of view from its editor. I am therefore not interested in giving you quotes or engaging in any way with you.”
Davis had also previously called same-sex marriage a “barking-mad” act and suggested in back in 2012 that most parents would rather have their children remain straight than identify as gay.
Davis tried to justify his opposition to gay marriages by saying: “I think most parents and guardians would prefer their children not to be gay, knowing most parents want grandchildren if nothing else.”
He claimed in 2012 that the introduction of LGBT- inclusive sex education might encourage children to try out gay sex. That same year, the MP dismissed accusations that he is homophobic by pointing out his participation in an amateur boxing match against a fighter who identifies as gay.
Last year, MP Davis criticised a group of male police officers who got their nails painted as part of a campaign with the purpose of finding unpaid slaves who were believed to be working in different nail salons.