Cambridge City Council and Transgender Equality

Good news: Cambridge City Council have voted on and approved a revised equalities policy saying that they will not use the various (bad) exemptions in the Equalities Act relating to those undergoing gender reassignment. I was there for the discussion last night, but Sarah asked me not to talk about it until the press release went out today.

For those who don’t know, Cambridge had the first Trans mayor in the UK (Second worldwide, I think) a few years ago and has had at least three Trans Councillors that I know of. I think it is proboably one of, if not the most progressive city in the UK in terms of Trans equality.

Hopefully this will set an example that others can follow. The full press release is below, I think it speaks for itself.

Updated: Sarah has also written in her own blog about this and goes into a little more detail.


Cambridge City Councillor, Sarah Brown, has scored a significant victory for the city’s transgender group and given the council a leading edge in the battle for equality.

She called on the council to exceed the requirements of the Equality Act by making sure that workers applying for gender appropriate positions with the council and people using single sex facilities provided by the council were not discriminated against.

The 2010 Act allows discrimination against transgender people in these two areas.

A LGBT activitist, Cllr Brown raised the issue at the council’s Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee last night (Monday, October 11) and was successful in changing the council’s Equalities Policy.

She told members she was not challenging the terms of the Act but simply asking to exceed its minimum requirements as an example of best practice.

She said: “I wanted Cambridge City Council to maintain its reputation as being in the vanguard of LGBT best practice in exceeding the requirements of this Act in this area.

“It has been generally agreed throughout the transgender community that these sections of the act were unjust. The city council should be aiming to do better than the minimum standard that the Act allows.

“I am delighted that the committee gave me its backing. It is crucial that transgender workers are not treated differently from other workers and not discriminated against in any way.

“This should prove very reassuring to the transgender community and reinforce the council’s reputation as leading best practice in this area.”


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