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“A man is a man and a woman is a woman”: Sunak slammed for hateful remarks on trans people

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sparked outrage and condemnation for his anti-trans comments made at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Wednesday

According to a report by PinkNews on Friday, October 6, 2023, Sunak, who is widely seen as a potential successor to Boris Johnson, said that people “shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be – they can’t” and that “a man is a man and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense”.

Sunak’s remarks were met with applause by the Tory delegates, but were quickly denounced by trans rights activists, opposition parties, and human rights groups as “hateful”, “bigoted”, and “dangerous”. Many accused Sunak of pandering to the right-wing base of his party and stoking transphobia in the society.

Petra De Sutter, the deputy prime minister of Belgium and the first openly trans woman to hold such a position in Europe, tweeted: “Hurtful and very disappointing. These words are fueling transphobia and endangering the lives of many people around the world. Trans women are women. And in no way a threat to others. Don’t join the real bullies, @RishiSunak”.

Nancy Kelley, the chief executive of Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBT+ charity, said: “The prime minister’s comments are deeply irresponsible and show a complete lack of understanding of trans people’s lives. He is playing politics with trans people’s safety and wellbeing, and sending a dangerous message to society that trans people are not worthy of respect and dignity”.

Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, who was mocked by Sunak for his support of the queer community, said: “Rishi Sunak’s speech was disgraceful. He should be ashamed of himself for spreading lies and hatred about trans people. He is not fit to be prime minister. The Liberal Democrats will always stand up for trans rights and fight against discrimination and bigotry” .

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Sunak’s comments also contradicted the official guidance of the National Health Service (NHS), which states that “gender identity is a person’s internal sense of their own gender” and that “some people may not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth”.

The NHS also allows trans people to be placed in hospital wards according to their gender identity, a policy that Sunak’s health secretary Steve Barclay announced he would reverse.

Sunak’s anti-trans stance is not new. In April, he was asked by a conservative website whether it was true that “100% of women do not have a penis”, to which he replied: “Yes, of course”. However, he also said at the time that “we should always have compassion and understanding and tolerance for those who are thinking about changing their gender”, a sentiment that he did not express in his latest speech.

Sunak’s speech has raised concerns about the future of trans rights in the UK, especially as the government is yet to publish its guidance on how schools should support trans and gender-nonconforming students. Many fear that Sunak’s rhetoric will embolden anti-trans activists and lead to more harassment and violence against trans people

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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