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Labor has lost women’s trust on trans issues, admits Wes Streeting

Labor has lost women’s trust on trans issues, admits Wes Streeting

Labor has lost women’s trust on trans issues, admits Wes Streeting

Labor has also been criticized for its plans to make it easier for people to change gender.

Streeting said simplifying the process by which people can legally change their gender would make it less “degrading” and “tortuous”.

The changes would mean applicants would no longer have to prove they have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years, and would only have to get approval from a doctor, rather than a panel.

On Tuesday, the shadow education secretary said trans women with penises would be able to use female toilets under the plans.

Bridget Phillipson said a trans woman who had a Gender Recognition Certificate “would be using female toilets” even if she had not undergone reassignment surgery.

Her comments sowed fresh confusion over Labour’s gender stance with Victoria Atkins, the Health Secretary, accusing Labor of trying to “further dilute women’s rights through its plans to introduce self-identification by back door”.

The party has said it would maintain the requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, but that it could now be provided by a single doctor.

Under the plans, people do not need to have undergone gender reassignment surgery or are planning to do so to legally change their gender.

Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Women and Equalities, said the changes would create a “predator charter”.

Conversion therapy

Labor also intends to introduce a ban on conversion therapy.

Rishi Sunak made a similar promise in 2023, but the Conservative manifesto said legislation on such practices was “a very complex issue” and would delay any final ruling.

Hilary Cass, the doctor who carried out a landmark review of gender services for children, has expressed concern that such a ban could encroach on the freedom of doctors or teachers to help children struggling to understand their sexuality or identity. of genre.

On Tuesday, Atkins said care must be taken not to criminalize “those who are doing everything they can to support people with gender issues.”

She said: “Today it has leaked that the Labor Party not only wants to introduce self-identification by stealth, but also wants to stop parents, teachers and therapists from comforting and counseling children and adults with gender issues.”

Speaking to The Telegraph, Streeting said Labor had been “honest about the fact that there are some tensions and some thorny issues to resolve” and was “approaching those issues with the humility, care and respect that this discussion deserves.” ”. .

The Labor MP said: “I never want women to feel silenced when it comes to speaking out about their rights. I never want trans people to feel beaten down by headlines or political statements.

“And I think, in fact, I feel very optimistic, in fact, that there is a way to move forward in this debate that brings people together and, you know, lands in the right place where trans people feel safe and included, and Women trust that their rights will be respected. and the voices are respected.”

However, a former Labor adviser said: “Labour is in a total mess over all this. Political positions are meaningless and deeply unpopular: they crumble with the most superficial questioning.

“They seem very slow to realize which way the wind is blowing when it comes to public opinion; You can’t have both sides in an argument.”

She said that while Streeting’s language was increasingly conciliatory, many of the policies came from Annaliese Dodds, Labor president and shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, who is seen as much more of an ally to trans activists. .