Trans Rights: A transitionary phase socially, politically and legally.

31 March was International Transgender Day of Visibility: a day to celebrate the transgender community whilst raising awareness of the discrimination they face on a daily basis.

11 April 2022

31 March was International Transgender Day of Visibility: a day to celebrate the transgender community whilst raising awareness of the discrimination they face on a daily basis. Also recently, we have seen furore concerning transwomen in sport, the cancelling of a landmark LGBT+ event due to a mass boycott (caused by the failure to ban conversion therapy for transgender people), and new guidance on the provision (or exclusion) of separate or single-sex services to trans people.

In the near future, we anticipate a judgment from the EAT regarding Dr Mackereth and the DWP, in which Dr Mackereth alleges that he was discriminated against for his beliefs because he refused to agree with the rules on use of pronouns for service users. Since the 2019 ET judgment, the Forstater EAT judgment confirmed that only the most heinous beliefs would be excluded from protection. So what will this do? It’s entirely possible that Dr Mackereth will be successful, but there is a key difference in that (1) his beliefs go further to the extent that he feels entitled to misgender transgender individuals, and (2) his belief is based on theology – Dr Mackereth must therefore show that his belief is shared by the majority of Christians.

Now, more than ever, is a difficult time for transgender individuals. Employers should be seeking to provide inclusive spaces, not hostile or intimidating environments. This can only be helped by having in place suitable policies (equality and diversity, anti-harassment and bullying) and openly encouraging diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

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William Carter

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william.carter@brownejacobson.com

+44 (0)330 045 2786

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