Which is why I am pleased to announce that yesterday (Monday) at a meeting of Cambridge City Council's Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee, I successfully persuaded the councillors present to move an amendment to the Council's equality policy. In the area of employment practices, it has added:
- We will not exclude transgender people from positions which require a gender-appropriate candidate
In the area of delivering services it adds:
- transgender people will not be excluded from gender-appropriate single sex/sex segregated facilities operated by the council
In other words, although the Equality Act allows discrimination in these areas in certain circumstances, Cambridge City Council (somewhat famous for appointing a transgender mayor a few years ago) has stated that it will waive its rights to take advantage of those parts of the act when employing people, or providing single sex/sex segregated services. In other words, it exceeds the act's minimum requirements in this area.
It is my wish that other councils, and other service providers and employers will see this as an example of best practice and incorporate something similar into their own diversity policies.
To this end, Cambridge Liberal Democrats have put out a press release. Here it is:
COUNCILLOR’S VICTORY FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY
Cambridge City Councillor, Sarah Brown, has scored a significant victory for the city’s transgender group and given the council a leading edge in the battle for equality.
She called on the council to exceed the requirements of the Equality Act by making sure that workers applying for gender appropriate positions with the council and people using single sex facilities provided by the council were not discriminated against.
The 2010 Act allows discrimination against transgender people in these two areas.
A LGBT activitist, Cllr Brown raised the issue at the council’s Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee last night (Monday, October 11) and was successful in changing the council’s Equalities Policy.
She told members she was not challenging the terms of the Act but simply asking to exceed its minimum requirements as an example of best practice.
She said: “I wanted Cambridge City Council to maintain its reputation as being in the vanguard of LGBT best practice in exceeding the requirements of this Act in this area.
“It has been generally agreed throughout the transgender community that these sections of the act were unjust. The city council should be aiming to do better than the minimum standard that the Act allows.
“I am delighted that the committee gave me its backing. It is crucial that transgender workers are not treated differently from other workers and not discriminated against in any way.
“This should prove very reassuring to the transgender community and reinforce the council's reputation as leading best practice in this area.”
Actually feeling quite proud of myself for that!
Also posted at http://auntysarah.dreamwidth.org/24