The Free Speech Union has written to Professor Sir Malcolm Evans, Master of Regent’s Park College, about the College’s Trans Inclusion Statement, which is based on a misunderstanding of the Equality Act 2010. The Statement stipulates that any “unlawful discriminatory behaviour, including transphobic harassment or bullying by individuals or groups, will be dealt with under the College’s Policy on Harassment and Bullying and within the relevant legislation, the Equality Act 2010”. Examples of “harassment” supposedly prohibited by the Equality Act include “making jokes about trans people or their trans status” and “consistently using incorrect titles or pronouns or names to refer to a trans person (‘deadnaming’)”. But as we point out in our letter, the Equality Act imposes a duty on employers to protect their employees from harassment by other employees, not third parties — and for the purposes of the Equality Act, students are third parties. Consequently, the Equality Act doesn’t prohibit students from making jokes about trans people or using their non-preferred pronouns. The Times has covered the story here.
Below you can read our original letter and the reply we received from Professor Sir Malcolm Evans.
UPDATE: We received a reply from Professor Sir Malcolm Evans. You can read the full text of his letter below.