The States of Jersey are currently asking for comments from the public on the next phase of the island’s discrimination legislation, so called sex discrimination. They have published a consultation paper, which can be downloaded here.
The next phase of the legislation is due to be debated later this year with a view to it becoming law in September 2015. The consultation process closes on 30 May 2014 and responses will be published on 29 August 2014.
The consultation paper outlines the main areas for debate:
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage and civil partnership
Trans* Jersey is most interested in the States’ proposals for gender reassignment. We have therefore requested involvement in any forum convened by the States to discuss the proposed legislation.
We are concerned by a number of aspects of the States’ consultation document:
1. The adoption of the UK Equality Act as the model on which to base Jersey’s legislation. This Act has been in place for 4 years in the UK and campaign groups have highlighted a number of problems with it. The LGBT Consortium have called for a review of it and the Gender Recognition Act.
2. The language used in the document’s section on gender reassignment especially when talking about a person “completing” their transition.
3. The suggestion within the consultation that an exception should be made to permit discrimination against trans* people to occur in the case of “the provision of communal changing facilities or shared accommodation”.
4. The confusion of the term “sex” with “gender” throughout. Man/woman refers to a person’s gender. Male/female refers to person’s sex.
5. The assumption that there are only two sexes or genders.
Whilst Trans* Jersey encourages you to complete the online survey, we would also like to receive your comments about the States’ proposal regarding gender reassignment discrimination.
We believe that by speaking together as a group of trans* islanders our comments on the consultation will carry more weight.
We therefore invite you to email us with your comments, suggestions, thoughts or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please let us know whether you would be interested in being involved in any face-to-face discussions with the States as part of a Trans* Jersey group.