Jeremy Miles MS, Counsel General and Minister for European Transition and Jane Hutt MS, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip
The Welsh Government is committed to advancing equality for all and is clear this means taking account of intersecting forms of discrimination, disadvantage and striving to achieve equality of outcome for everyone.
The UK Government has failed in its commitment to formally respond to the Gender Recognition Act consultation by repeatedly delaying publication of the review. We have pressed for a publication date and have been disappointed to see the leaks of selected sections of the report without proper communication by the UK Government to Welsh Government Ministers.
This has caused significant distress and anxiety among trans people and wider LGBT+ communities here in Wales and the UK. We believe trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. We restate our support for trans people’s right to self-identification.
We have expressed our frustrations directly with the UK Government on several occasions in relation to its position on the consultation and review. We have pressed for clarity in relation to references to single sex spaces, the methodology of ‘checks and balances’ and sought clear commitment that changes to the 2010 Equality Act will not be made. We will write again to Equalities Minister Liz Truss MP to ask that urgent progress is made.
We will submit our views on the published review of the Gender Recognition Act at the earliest opportunity and will ensure trans rights in Wales are protected to the fullest extent of our powers.
We have provided funding to Stonewall Cymru to begin work engaging stakeholders to develop an updated Transgender Action Plan for Wales. At a constructive meeting this week, chaired by Stonewall Cymru, we heard directly from members of the trans community who expressed their concerns about a lack of progress by the UK Government regarding its commitment to Gender Recognition Act reforms. In particular, they were dismayed at the increasing likelihood of a regression in their Human Rights as trans people.
We share their concerns.
While the thrust of the Gender Recognition Act may deal with matters which are reserved, we will explore what actions may be open to us to support trans people in related areas which are within devolved competence.