Wales’s LGBTQ+ Action plan is Stonewall’s agenda

The LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales could be renamed the Stonewall Agenda for Wales in its slavish adoption of all Stonewall’s demands, along with Stonewall’s substitution of sex with ‘gender identity’ as the basis of human rights and protections.

The undifferentiated acronym ‘LGBTQ+’ groups together a diverse section of society based on their personal feelings and self-identities; from the heterosexual man who identifies himself as ‘non-binary’ or ‘queer’ to the lesbian who faces real discrimination on the basis of both her sex and her sexual orientation.

Basing policy for Wales on people’s personal identities raises conflicts when sections of the ‘LGBTQ+’ group (gay, lesbian, bisexual) have established protections in law based on their biological sex, not their ‘gender identity.’ The Welsh government does not acknowledge or address this conflict in their LGBTQ+ Action Plan; instead it obscures the inherent redefinition of lesbian, gay and bisexual people with the obfuscating blanket of ‘identity’ for all. Nor does the Welsh government consider the established rights and protections of women and girls which is based on their biological and legal status as the female sex, not on undefinable and unverifiable inner feelings.

The Ministerial Foreword states “Equality is for and means everyone in Wales, with no-one left behind.”

Equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people is predicated on their definition in the Equality Act 2010 as being ‘same-sex’ or ‘both sexes’ attracted. Equality for women depends on the definition of ‘woman’ in the Equality Act as a member of the female sex. Without the means to define a group, that group cannot properly be protected in law.

The LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales pledges to:

Provide strategic, comprehensive investment in professional learning and training on designing a fully LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum. This should include delivering LGBTQ+ inclusive RSE for all.

To include LGB people in the RSE curriculum requires correct biological definitions of this group. If sex education in schools is based on the nebulous concept of ‘gender identity’, same-sex attracted young people are not represented and cannot learn that it is acceptable to be exclusively attracted to the same sex.

Instead, a young lesbian, for example, will learn that a lesbian may be a heterosexual male who ‘identifies’ as a lesbian. For a young lesbian struggling with internalised lesbophobia as a result of bullying, her sexual orientation towards her own sex is reinforced as shameful and unspeakable. She is taught that lesbians can also be attracted to the male body and that not to be so may mean she is transphobic or bigoted.

The Action Plan also vows to:

Provide statutory national trans guidance for schools and local authorities.

If schools guidance is based on ‘gender identity’ as the distinction between boys and girls, girls cannot be protected and safeguarded as a sex. School facilities such as toilets and changing-rooms are separated on the basis of biological sex for the privacy, dignity and comfort of both sexes and the protection of girls from voyeurism and sexual harassment. Sports are separated on the basis of biological sex to ensure fairness and safety for girls. Taking away these rights and protections does not ensure and honour equality for girls.

Stonewall believes that being a boy or a girl has nothing to do with biological sex and everything to do with inner feelings and personal identity. The Welsh government may believe the same thing, but it is not appropriate to base schools guidance on a belief. Children have a right to be taught facts; if ‘gender identity’ is to be taught at all, schools must teach it as a belief along with other beliefs, or be in breach of the 1996 Education Act which prevents political indoctrination of children.

We learned from the Keira Bell case how affirmation of ‘gender identity’ can result in serious harms to young people. The Welsh government has a duty to put safeguarding of vulnerable children ahead of an adult political ideology in any resources or advice they provide for schools.

Merched Cymru and LGB Alliance Cymru are working together to respond to Welsh Government’s LGBT+ Action Plan. See our page here.