LGBTQ+ activists are speaking out against Tory MP Kemi Badenoch – the current equalities minister – after it has come to public attention that she had a secret ‘introductory’ meeting with anti-trans hate group, the LGB Alliance, in July last year. According to openDemocracy, it is unclear what Badenoch discussed with the controversial group. Scottish National Party MP, John Nicolson, said: “It’s completely inappropriate for the Equalities Minister to meet with the LGB Alliance.”
LGBT+ Liberal Democrats also criticised Badenoch for associating with the group, saying her actions “display an appalling lack of understanding of the issues at best; at worst, it is crass, offensive and possibly evidence of a bias against trans people that should render the minister unfit to make any judgements or decisions on the subject.” It described the LGB Alliance as “a real and active danger to the mental and physical safety of trans people, which is vastly exacerbated when those in authority lend them credibility.”
Badenoch has not responded to criticism or questions of what was discussed in the meeting, but last year she suggested the the government intended to reform the Equality Act to “protect single-sex spaces” only weeks before her meeting with the LGB Alliance. Two weeks after the meeting, she said in parliament: “On the matters of gender recognition and transgender rights, I have held a number of meetings with external stakeholders… to gather a wide range of views.”
Chiara Capraro from Amnesty UK has called on the UK government to be “fully transparent about who they meet to discuss issues that affect trans people”, adding: “We have seen an alarming escalation of transphobic views being legitimised in public debate.”
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