Men who say they are women have been told they may swim in a “women-only” public pool in north London.
According to the City of London Corporation’s (CoLC) new Gender Identity Policy, gender reassignment is a “personal process, and not a medical one”.
This means anyone can use Hampstead Heath’s historic separate sex swimming areas.
Feminist campaigners challenged the decision, with the ReSisters UK group saying it was “open to abuse”.
“The CoLC is deliberately misusing the Equalities Act and basing the policy on a biased survey.”
Rosa Freedman, a law professor at the University of Reading, said people could use the rule “in a predatory way”.
“I am heartbroken that self-identification will be allowed”, Freedman said, adding that the single-sex spaces now “won’t be the same”.
The new policy follows a consultation that studied 21,191 responses, with most coming from the public.
In its updated policy, the CoLC called gender reassignment “a personal process, and not a medical one, and may or may not involve medical interventions”.
It went on: “The City Corporation recognises that gender identity is complex and varied (e.g. some people identify as genderfluid, gender queer or non-binary), and this will be reflected in our approach.”