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Background

Glasgow Life is the “arms length” organisation established by the City of Glasgow Council to manage it’s sports and leisure activities. It’s work can be see here. https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/

As part of this remit, it decided to draft a “trans inclusive” policy to guide its staff. There is a great deal of confusion over how this policy came into existence. Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) have failed to uncover the drafting process, who took the necessary decisions to put the policy into effect, and despite the face of the policy thanking a particular LGBT sports organisation for their assistance, Glasgow Life have denied that the document was even partially drafted by anyone else.

Women Make Glasgow was created with the sole intention of having this policy withdrawn, and then a more acceptable policy – compliant with the Equality Act single sex exemptions for sport and privacy – be put in its place. We have drafted such a policy and it forms the content of this blog.

Each entry relates to a section of the original Glasgow Life Guidance, with our proposal coming first, then the original text of the Guidance afterwards so that comparing and contrasting can be easier.

We have left the comments “open” and are more than happy to debate, discuss and even change the content if a better policy emerges.

Since setting up our campaign, our arguments have been boosted by two important sources. Firstly the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Communities, in a speech in the Scottish Parliament, said that in the view of the Scottish Government “single sex” provisions meant single biological sex.

Secondly, in Westminster the Committee for Women and Equalities held consultation meetings with a variety of organisations on the subject of single sex exemptions and they produced this Report. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmwomeq/1470/1470.pdf

The Report criticises the lack of clear guidance on what the Equality Act single sex exemptions means in practice, and called upon the Equalities & Human Rights Commission to draft guidance based on the words of the Equality Act, and not their “reading in” version of the Act (which both fudged single sex provisions and unconstitutionally widened the definition of transsexual and gender reassignment).

The Report directly strengthens our contention that no woman should be placed in a situation where she could see the naked penis of a stranger whilst accessing women only single sex spaces.

We have been called all manner of transphobic names by politicians and LGBT organisations, however, as you can see from the work we have done, we are simply Glasgow women who want everyone to feel safe and secure when using commonly owned Glasgow facilities.

We offered to work directly with the Glasgow Life’s Equality Department, but sadly we were ignored for a long time thereafter asked to merely send correspondence to the strategic lead – whilst other organisations – not representing hundreds of Glasgow women were invited to meet directly with Glasgow Life.

We decided to create this Blog so that Glasgow councillors can see for themselves the positive policy we created and can hold Glasgow Life Equality and Cultural Services responsible for the public outcry and contention in relation to their attitude towards women’s safety and privacy.

  • 1. Introduction

    11th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL 1. Introduction Glasgow Life wants to welcome everyone into our facilities; equality of access is one of our core values. We realise that transgender people may face some particular barriers when trying to access sports and leisure facilities. We want to work together with the trans community to create… Read more

  • Appendix 1

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL Appendix 1 Nowadays many people use the term ‘transgender’ as an umbrella term (as we do in this guidance). An alternative word is ‘trans’. Some prefer the use of ‘trans’ as it avoids ambiguity and recognises the original distinct meaning of ‘transgender’.  “Trans” covers people whose gender identity and… Read more

  • Summary of Guidance

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL Summary of Guidance Be helpful and welcoming in your attitude to transpeople Know where the designated alternative changing space in your venue is and ensure that any temporary staff know this too Know that the law allows single sex provision for sports in some circumstances and for facilities especially… Read more

  • 9. Participation in Competition

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL 9. Participation in Competition Attached to this Policy are extracts from the legislation that governs trans inclusion in sports. 9.1 Formal Competition The UK Gender Recognition Act, 2004 (S.19) states that even when a person has obtained a gender recognition certificate, issued on completion of gender reassignment, sports bodies… Read more

  • 8. Reporting of Incidents

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL 8. Reporting of Incidents [We do not think Glasgow Life’s original policy required any alterations to this section. The text has been taken from the original policy. ] GLASGOW LIFE CURRENT POLICY STATES 8. Reporting of Incidents Please use the Hate Crime Reporting Incident protocol to report incidences of… Read more

  • 7. Customer Complaints

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL 7. Customer Complaints Some customers may complain if they feel that someone whom they think of being of the opposite sex is in their changing room.  It is important that everyone feels dignified and safe on the premises and it would be especially wrong to tell women and girls… Read more

  • 6. Transgender Only Provision

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL 6. Transgender Only Provision [We do not propose any change to the existing Policy in this section as it is Equality Act compliant. The text that follows is the original Glasgow Life policy.] In some instances, Glasgow Life may provide leisure activities solely for trans people. This is helpful… Read more

  • 5. Single Sex Leisure Provision

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL 5. Single Sex Leisure Provision The legislation requires that trans people are treated as members of their preferred gender if they are undergoing transition or have already done so. However, there are some exceptions in relation to sports which are detailed below. People with identities that fall within the… Read more

  • 4. Changing Facilities

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL 4. Changing Facilities  The Equality Act (2010) which is the current legislation in relation to equalities both in the UK and Scotland protects the rights of people undergoing Gender Reassignment. Under this legislation, as highlighted above, the law seeks to balance the Rights and Dignity of all people.  Some… Read more

  • 3. Attitude

    12th Aug 2019 by

    NEW EQUALITIES ACT COMPLIANT POLICY PROPOSAL 3. Attitude A welcoming smile, a respectful attitude and a friendly face that encourages people to feel confident in asking questions is key to making our customers feel welcome within Glasgow Life facilities. It is simply good customer service.  Address people appropriately – using the social cues you are… Read more

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