Gender legislation could endanger women, lawyers warn
Summary from IPSNews, August 19, 2011
Legislation proposals designed to protect gender identity and expression have run into controversy.
The LGBT community say that gender identity protection is key to gaining equality, but other people oppose the legislative proposals saying it may affect the safety of women in female-only spaces such as public toilets.
US lawyers Elizabeth Hungerford and Catherine Brennan said that the legislation would allow men to enter and use female spaces.
This, they warn, could lead to sexual violence, as it would effectively give men an excuse for being in areas like toilets and changing rooms.
Ms Brennan saidd: “I’m actually unconcerned about people who are transgender entering sex-segregated space. I’m very much concerned, however, that we are adopting a completely over-broad definition that would give cover to non-transgender males to have a reason and a basis for being in that space without question.”
The lawyers also argue that gender identity legislation will incorporate stereotypes of what it means to be a woman into law.
They were responding to a call made by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women for views on the issue.