Men who say they are women will not automatically have the right to enter female-only spaces such as toilets and changing rooms, the Government has said.
The Equalities Office is resisting pressure from activists who say transgender people should be allowed to use the toilets and changing facilities of the gender they ‘self-identify’ with.
In spite of claims that male and female-only areas are ‘discriminatory’, ministers say they have “no intention” of making them illegal.
The comments come in response to a petition which called for the Government to consult with women before any changes are made to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA).
The petition, signed by more than 12,000 people, called for women to be consulted “on how to protect women and girls’ rights, safety, privacy and dignity”.
Providers may exclude trans people from facilities of the sex they identify with, providing it is a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim. Government Equalities Office
It also asked for “the principle of single-sex spaces to be upheld – and where necessary extended”.
Ending single-sex spaces would require changes to equalities legislation, and a spokesperson for the Equalities Office stated that, even in the event of changes to the GRA, no changes would be made to the Equality Act.
A statement said: “We are clear that we have no intention of amending the Equality Act 2010, the legislation that allows for single-sex spaces.
“Any GRA reform will not change the protected characteristics in the Equality Act nor the exceptions under the Equality Act that allow provision for single and separate sex spaces.”
It added: “Providers of women-only services can continue to provide services in a different way, or even not provide services to trans individuals, provided it is objectively justified on a case-by-case basis.
“The same can be said about toilets, changing rooms or single-sex activities. Providers may exclude trans people from facilities of the sex they identify with, providing it is a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim.”