Category Archives: Equal Rights

Swindon Says No to Discrimination

No Discrimination

Saturday 22 August was our official launch night at the Mail Coach. All of us had a great time and were in high spirits. Both staff and customers had been friendly and welcoming. Earlier in the day group members had been asked why the group was needed. The following is a case in point.

This was a night that the ghastly spectre of discrimination should not have raised its ugly head. However an Incident occurred at the Brunel North Car Park. For two of our members at least it made for an unpleasant end to a wonderful night.

A group member needed help to release her car from the car park. After a phone call a guy turned up and announced he could only take cash. The car owner duly went to the nearest cash point to get the money. During her absence two other members of the group were questioned about the car owner’s gender identity in an invasive and inappropriate manner.

It soon became clear this was getting him nowhere so he then proceeded to make sexist and derogatory comments about transgender people to the male member of the group present who was in fact a transman and the group chairman. On the return of the car owner the attendant then offered to make a false entry on the ticket regarding her address, this was duly refused.

A complaint was made to Swindon Borough Council about the incident and has been dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner. The group would like to express its thanks to SBC for showing that discrimination of this nature will not be tolerated in the town.

On receiving notification of SBC’s action the lady who made the complaint said “A good result for all showing Swindon council takes incidents above seriously and lets employees know that the behaviours of the man in question are not tolerated by employers or the general public.”




Unequal Marriage

UnEqual Marriage Pic

In the UK we now have ‘equal marriage’ because a man can marry a man and a woman can marry a woman. That is fantastic and truly a remarkable step forward. However I refuse to call it equal marriage because it is far from equal for some people in the UK.

What has ‘equal marriage’ done for transgender people? Yet again transgender people have been marginalised and ignored by LGBT equality changes.

Since 1971 transgender people have been without the rights of either their assigned or new gender. Yes you read that right – without rights! In 2004 the Gender Recognition Act created the Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) that enabled transgender people to obtain new birth certificates and some protection in law such as anti-discrimination in the workplace.

However a transgender person remained unable to obtain a GRC if they were married unless the marriage was ended before application for gender reassignment.

The Equal Marriage Act has not eliminated that injustice. Instead there is Spousal Veto. What does that mean? A transgender person can remain married but the marriage can only continue with the spouse’s consent. Without spousal permission the transgender person can only obtain an interim GRC until the marriage is ended. Given a transgender person will be well into the physical transition to new their gender by the time they apply for GRC spousal veto is a mute piece of legislation that can only make the transgender person feel discriminated against by the Equal Marriage Act, an act that does not make marriage equal.