Here are the changes that have been planned:
- The following sentence will be deleted: "Transgender people will not be excluded from gender-appropriate single-sex/sex-segregated facilities operated by the council."
- References to transgender people will be replaced by the words "gender reassignment" or "transsexual people".
- The term "gender" will become "sex".
Thus, the new policy stipulates: “We will recognize and treat people with the protected characteristic of gender reassignment according to the gender in which they present unless it is necessary, in exceptional circumstances, to use the single-sex emption as a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim in line with the Equality Act 2010.”
Note that, as the BBC indicates, this also means the council has the discretion to apply the Act's "single-sex exemption" - which enables public bodies to exclude trans people from "single-sex spaces, facilities, and jobs" where there is "clear evidence" this is necessary.
The council said the amendments were necessary to “ensure the wording matches that used in the Equality Act 2010.”
Transgender former city councilor and activist Sarah Brown said she was worried. It is obvious that the council opens the door to discrimination against trans people.
"Despite agreeing that trans women are women and trans men are men, the Labour council has decided it now wants the right to discriminate against us," she said.
"This is disappointing and worrying. Should we now carry our passports if we want to use the Lion Yard loos?"
A spokesman for the Cambridge City Council said: "These changes do not alter the levels or type of services offered for transsexual people, but instead seek to ensure legal compliance."
How to open the door to discrimination against certain people can guarantee respect for equality?
One can only regret such a decision when the British government wants to fight more actively against the discrimination of LGBT people.