Fifteen media companies have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in support of trans rights. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A collective of media and entertainment organisations including Disney, Sky and the Financial Times have written to UK prime minister Boris Johnson urging him to honour the government’s commitment to reforming the Gender Recognition Act.
Theresa May’s Conservative government announced plans to reform the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which governs the way trans men and women in the UK gain legal recognition of their gender, in 2017.
A huge public consultation on potential changes was held in 2018, with more than 100,000 people reportedly sharing their views on proposed improvements to the law.
However, subsequent Tory governments have repeatedly stalled on publishing the results. They are now expected to be announced by Johnson’s equalities chief Liz Truss before parliament’s summer recess on July 21, although it was leaked to the Sunday Times last month that plans to reform the GRA have been scrapped.
The collective behind the open letter told Johnson they were writing “to express our support of the trans community”.
“As it stands, the UK is a global leader in LGBT+ equality – and the government has been right to work closely with businesses to advance equality on the world stage,” the letter says.
“We all strive to be trans-inclusive organisations and believe that a diverse workforce, including trans employees, offers greater business success.
“With this in mind, we would be opposed to any policy or legislation changes that impact the trans community negatively.
“Trans people have always been able to use single-sex facilities that match their gender, and the Equality Act 2010 codified this.
“Additionally, it has been widely reported that the 2018 public consultation on GRA reform shows up to 70 per cent of respondents agreed that it was appropriate to remove additional barriers to trans people being able to identify and live authentically.
“Failing to honour the government’s commitment to implement the consultation findings, and even increasing restrictions on trans people’s ability to live authentically, benefits no one.
“It would mean changes to working environments that would make it hard for trans and non-binary people to focus on their work, preventing them from being able to travel safely, and inhibiting them from operating in society.
“We hope that we can continue to be part of discussion about the future of trans equality in the UK, working together to make progress for the trans community and ensure our businesses maintain the diverse perspectives that help make us successful.”
Other signatories to the letter include EMEA, Warner Media, NBCUniversal, Endemol Shine, ViacomCBS, AMC Networks International UK, Discovery, Diva Media Group, Sports Media LGBT+, Film + TV Charity, GEEYOU, and The Sarah O’Connell Show.
The letter was organised by InterMedia, an LGBT+ network group for people working across all areas of the media spectrum.