Question 11: Is there anything you want to tell us about how the current process of applying for a GRC affects those who have a protected characteristic?
Under the Equality Act 2010, the government has a Public Sector Equality Duty, which means it must have due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it, and the need to foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
This consultation process should therefore consider the interests of people with protected characteristics other than gender reassignment, when making changes to the operation of the GRA.
A change to the GRC process based on a specific set of beliefs about gender identity could have an adverse effect on good relations between trans people and:
– Female survivors of sexual and domestic violence and female prisoners (protected characteristic: sex)
– People with health conditions that are specific to one sex or the other and who need specific information targeted appropriately (protected characteristic: sex)
– People from religious or cultural communities for whom single-sex spaces are important (protected characteristics: religion, race)
– People who don’t believe that gender identity is innate and immutable (protected characteristic: religion or belief)
– Lesbians and gay men who wish to assert their same-sex attraction (protected characteristic: sexual orientation)