A women’s group has accused the Church of Scotland of turning a deaf ear to the concerns raised by survivors of abuse in favour of championing trans rights.
For Women Scotland (FWS) criticised the Kirk’s Revd Karen Hendry for endorsing the Scottish Government’s ‘gender self-ID plans’, which would allow men to access female-only safe spaces and put women at risk.
Hendry made the remarks before Holyrood’s equalities committee on behalf of Integrity, the denomination’s Violence Against Women Task Group.
Hendry claimed: “The rights and safety of women and girls as survivors of abuse, along with the safeguarding of single sex spaces, have been used to justify arguments against reform.”
“Integrity is satisfied”, she added, “that the advancement of trans rights does not endanger women and girls or encroach upon their rights”.
The spokeswoman also said: “We are concerned that the voices of survivors are being used in this way, which risks confusing vulnerable women and demonising another vulnerable group”.
In response, FWS accused the Church of Scotland of attempting “to delegitimise voices of survivors distressed by the presence of males in women’s spaces”.
The group tweeted: “We are appalled that women who have spoken up at meetings & in the press, & who have been vilified as bigots or for ‘weaponising trauma’ are now dismissed too foolish or confused to understand their trauma.”
FWS told the moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Revd Dr Iain Greenshields, that such women “deserve an apology”.
Clip is here. We are appalled that women who have spoken up at meetings & in the press, & who have been vilified as bigots or for “weaponising trauma” are now dismissed too foolish or confused to understand their trauma. @churchscotland @churchmoderator, they deserve an apology. pic.twitter.com/k6UhUt8fOM
— For Women Scotland (@ForWomenScot) June 7, 2022
The majority of the Scottish public is against the Government’s plans to allow Scots as young as 16 to change their legal sex merely by self-declaration.
Of the 10,800 legitimate submissions made to the Scottish Parliament’s equalities committee, 59 per cent opposed the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.
Those who opposed the Bill raised concerns about the impact on women’s sports and single-sex spaces, warning that “predatory males” could apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate to “gain access” to female-only spaces.