Yesterday, April 4th, the EHRC produced a new guide ‘for service providers (anyone who provides goods, facilities or services to the public) who are looking to establish and operate a separate or single-sex service’.
The new guide is advisory, it does not override the EHRCs own existing Statutory Code of Practice and organisations are not required to follow it.
The guidance has received criticism both from the LGBT+ sector and beyond. Issues highlighted included the terminology and language used being inconsistent with legislation, examples that seemingly focus on legitimising blanket exclusion, and the reliance on specialist trans-inclusive support services which does not reflect the reality of local service provision.
A number of our member organisations reacted to the report on social media and/or published responses to the guidance. We have linked to these below. If you have produced a response you would like us to include here please email [email protected]
Mermaids have produced this guide for trans young people navigating their rights in relation to single-sex spaces.
The EHRC's guidance relies heavily on the existence of trans-inclusive local services, particularly for trans victims of abuse and violence. This approach fails to acknowledge the current inadequate levels of trans-inclusive or LGBT+ specialist service provision in the UK.
— Galop (@GalopUK) April 4, 2022
We are extremely disappointed in the @EHRC's latest recommendations for separate and single-sex service providers.
— LGBT Foundation (@LGBTfdn) April 5, 2022
— Live Through This 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@LTTcancer) April 5, 2022
Our statement on the EHRC’s guidance on single-sex spaces: https://t.co/ic1T4bzUVS
The guidance provides a number of worrying examples of instances where trans people could be barred from single-sex spaces. (1/5) pic.twitter.com/WwGgeFZvHl
— Mermaids (@Mermaids_Gender) April 5, 2022
Our statement on the EHRC Guidance on single-sex spaces
“At this time, we urge gyms and sports and fitness clubs to renew their stated commitments and values as they pertain to LGBTIQ+ inclusion”
— Pride Sports (@PrideSportsUK) April 5, 2022
Why is EHRC trending, and what does this new guidance mean?
— QueerAF (@WeAreQueerAF) April 5, 2022
The EHRC have today published new guidance on single-sex services. The guidance is overwhelmingly focused on how single-sex services might or could exclude trans people from using them. (1/16)
— Scottish Trans (@ScottishTrans) April 4, 2022
Initial views: factually inaccurate in part, portrays trans women as perpetrators and reads like a “how to exclude trans people” guidebook. Statement to follow, in the meantime read this: https://t.co/bWabe19pk1
— Trans Actual (@TransActualUK) April 4, 2022
Our statement re the @EHRC guidance on separate & single-sex spaces. Discriminatory, bigoted, contradicts its own Statutory Guidance & unlikely to survive a Judicial Review. We urge organisations to continue to rely on Statutory Guidance in this area. https://t.co/Yhm2OlbIuu
— Trans Legal Project (@TransLegalProj) April 4, 2022