Conservative Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch slammed for calling trans women “men” in gang leak
Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch called trans women “men” and questioned their campaign for equal rights in a leaked audio recording.
Ms Badenoch, who has just held a key ministerial post at the Housing Ministry, is said to have made the comments in her parliamentary office in 2018, a year after being elected MP.
In the conversation, which was reported by Vice World News, Ms Badenoch appeared to suggest that transgender people campaigned for increased rights because they wanted to choose a cause. Ms Badenoch argued that politics had shifted from debates about the rights of ethnic minorities, adding: “It’s not even about sexuality now. Now it’s like the whole transgender movement, where, okay, we have same-sex marriage and civil partnerships, so what are trans people looking for? “
The term transgender, as transvestite, is considered outdated and offensive by some transgender people.
She then spoke about the gender-neutral bathroom debate, saying, “Even when … people hear about … the whole bathroom, it’s actually more of an American thing but they have a similar problem, that . .. now it’s not just about being free to marry whoever you want, you now want men to use women’s bathrooms.
A government spokesperson defended the remarks, saying Ms Badenoch, who has served as Equalities Minister since February 2020, was talking about balancing competing demands from different groups.
They said: “The Equalities Minister is working hard to provide LGBT people, whether it’s modernizing the process for applying for a gender recognition certificate, advancing LGBT rights in the workplace or ‘ban conversion therapy.
“This 2018 comment was taken out of context as the Minister made it clear that a balance must be struck between equality and fairness when there are multiple and often competing demands between different groups. It should not be used to distort one’s opinions. “
Angela Rayner, fictitious chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, called the comments “disgusting”. She said, “With hate crime and transphobia on the rise, we need an Equality Minister who will stand up for trans people. “
She added: “Everyone should be able to be themselves and be celebrated, supported and loved for who they are. The Equality Minister should not be in office if she does not believe him. Solidarity with my trans siblings today and always. The Labor Party is absolutely committed to advancing trans rights and updating the GRA to introduce self-declaration for trans people and uphold the equality law. Your fight is our fight.
Ms Badenoch is currently in charge of organizing the UK’s first ever global LGBT + conference, which aims to celebrate ‘kindness, tolerance and openness’.
John Nicolson, SNP’s shadow culture secretary and vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on LGBT + rights around the world, told Vice News Badenoch had “no credibility” as minister of Equality.
LGBT + charity Stonewall responded to the revelations by saying, “We are shocked to hear the comments attributed to the Minister, which are both hurtful and damaging to LGBTQ + communities.”