Closed petition Add gender identity to the characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010
Non-binary people are not recognised by many countries despite being regular people who should be protected by law like any minority. Non-binary teens have a 42% chance of attempting suicide accordingly to one study and they are more likely to be assaulted and bullied.
Make it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of gender identity, including people who identify as non-binary. This is a good first step in the recognition of non-binary people.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 14 September 2020
The Government was very clear from the outset of the Gender Recognition Act consultation that we have no plans to amend or change the Equality Act 2010.
Read the response in full
This Government believes that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.
Currently, the Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination and unfair treatment across a number of ‘protected characteristics’ including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The coverage of this range of protected characteristics is extensive and the Government has no plans to add further protected characteristics to this list.
The Act also provides protection against:
• Direct discrimination - treating a person less favourably because of one of the non-discrimination grounds;
• Indirect discrimination - where rules, policies or practices that are apparently neutral have a disproportionately adverse effect on a particular group of people;
• Harassment - when a person experiences behaviour that makes them feel intimidated, humiliated, degraded, offended or which creates a hostile environment;
• Victimisation - where a person is treated unfairly, punished, threatened with punishment or subjected to a detriment because they make a complaint about discrimination or give evidence when someone else makes a complaint (irrespective of whether the complaint is upheld).
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), established by the Equality Act 2006, has a monitoring and enforcement role over the Equality Act 2010. It has powers to compel compliance with the provisions of the Act.
The EHRC also has powers to conduct investigations and take action where it suspects a breach of the discrimination provision to ensure that organisations avoid a continuation or repetition of that breach.
It is for individuals to bring cases against employers or service providers they believe have discriminated against them unlawfully. Only the courts can determine the facts of each case and how the law should be applied.
Government-funded helplines are available to advise and support people with discrimination concerns, and are a first point of contact in any discrimination case.
Government Equalities Office
Other parliamentary business
Report on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act published by MPs
The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report looking at Reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and related areas.
Read the Committee's report: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmwomeq/977/report.html
Among the recommendations made in its report the Committee has said that the Government should:
- Remove the requirement of a 'gender dysphoria' diagnosis from the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate, thus de-medicalising transition.
- Remove the requirement for trans people to have lived in their acquired gender for two years, as well as the need for spousal consent.
- Clarify what the barriers are preventing non-binary people from gaining legal recognition
- Urgently publish new guidance, incorporating worked examples and case studies, which would clarify where single-sex and separate-sex exceptions can be applied to the 2010 Equality Act.
- Develop a specific healthcare strategy for transgender and non-binary people, including training for GPs around treating trans and non-binary patients and improved access to support services.
Read more about the report, including a comment from Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/news/160020/gender-recognition-process-urgently-in-need-of-reform-say-mps/
What happens next?
The Government now must respond to the Committee's report, which was published on 21 December 2021, within two months. The Committee will publish the Government’s response here: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/publications/
What is the Women and Equalities Committee?
The Women and Equalities Committee is a cross-party group of MPs appointed by the House of Commons to examine the work of the Government Equalities Office (GEO). It holds Government to account on equality law and policy, including the Equality Act 2010 and cross Government activity on equalities. It also scrutinises the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Find out more on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/
You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:
This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament
You can sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://learning.parliament.uk/en/your-uk-parliament-newsletter-sign-up-form/