The Stonewall Trans Advisory Group (STAG) has announced its five-year plan to further equality for transgender people in Britain. On the surface, it all sounds inoffensive. Of course transgender adults should enjoy the same rights as any other adult in Britain. There should be no obstacle to essential rights, like the right to vote, the right to work, and the right to speak freely.
Except that’s not what this plan is about. Of course, transgender people hold all of those rights already. Instead, this report concerns itself with limiting the rights of everyone else, especially the rights to free speech and free association. STAG wants workplaces to introduce trans-inclusive policies, it demands that faith communities welcome transgender people and that sports teams use gender-neutral language.
Herein lies the crux of the issue with trans activists’ agenda. Their focus is not so much on equality, on equal rights for all, but on the demand for acceptance and validation of transgenderism. Unfortunately, society doesn’t work like that. Acceptance of ideas cannot be forced, and nor should it be – certainly not at the cost of allowing people to speak their minds and associate with whoever they like.
One of STAG’s recommendations for faith institutions reads: ‘Faith institutions should also think about how to make worship resources and liturgy inclusive. For example, liturgy which talks about “brothers and sisters”, to expressly include women, unfortunately excludes non-binary people. Using non-gendered language, for example “children” or “siblings”, would go one step further.’
Another suggestion, this time for sports institutions, says: ‘Clubs should ensure that senior players and club stakeholders are active in challenging transphobia, so that it is clear that transphobic behaviour and language is not acceptable.’