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A draft model motion in support of trans comrades.

by The Editors / March 5, 2020

Beyond Westminster  }
Transphobia is intensifying in society as a whole and within the labour movement. We have prepared a model motion to try to help combat it. 963 words / 5 min read

In response to the intensification of transphobia both in society and within the Labour left, we have drafted this model motion. If you are a Labour Party member, please feel free to print it out, edit it if necessary, and take it to your next branch meeting.

Content note: for the sake of evidencing our claims in order to win over the intermediate, we have reproduced the hateful cartoon that was published in the Morning Star below. Please be aware of this.

Update 8 March 2020: We have corrected an error in Section 1.5 which gave the impression that ‘Woman’s Place UK’ hosted the event in question. We have now been informed that this was another trans-antagonistic group named ‘We Need To Talk UK’. We have also clarified that WPUK was founded at or after the 13 September event referred to in Section 1.7. We thank WPUK for drawing our attention to these small inaccuracies, as precision strengthens the case put forward below.

Draft model motion in support of trans, nonbinary, and intersex rights.

______ Branch/Constituency Labour Party expresses solidarity with trans, nonbinary and intersex people, supports the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights pledges, and resolves to take action to oppose transphobia in our movement in order to make it a safe place for our trans, nonbinary and intersex comrades.

______ Branch/Constituency Labour Party notes:

  • There has been a recent increase in the publication of transphobic arguments in the mainstream media including:
    • Graham Linehan’s appearance on Newsnight on 11 February 2020
    • An article by Suzanne Moore, published in the Guardian on 2 March 2020, entitled “Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced”, in which Moore draws a comparison between trans women and ‘male violence’, including that of known paedophile and rapist Roman Polanski.1
  • There has also been an intensification of transphobic publication in the left-wing press, including:
    • Laura Pidcock’s ‘Letter to the Movement’, published in Tribune magazine on 6 February 2020, in which she stated, “The women’s movement needs the space to talk about sex and gender, without fear of being ‘no platformed’. We reserve that measure for fascists.”2
    • A cartoon which appeared in the Morning Star on 22 February 2020, entitled ‘Labour Pledge’, which depicted a drooling, predatory crocodile attempting to gain entry to a newt pond by stating that it was “transitioning as a newt”. Transphobic arguments have appeared in the Morning Star since at least 2016,3 and are becoming more frequent and more hateful.
    • An article published in the Morning Star on 1 March 2020 (two days after their apology for the cartoon) seemingly in support of transphobic academic Selina Todd,4 who is associated with the trans-antagonistic group Woman’s Place UK and has a history of circulating trans-antagonistic hatred via social media.5
  • That the pledges produced by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights6 have been signed by many, but not all, of the current candidates for Leader and Deputy Leader.
  • That some of those candidates who did sign the pledges later expressed concern about the pledges “closing down debate” and about proscribing particular groups.
  • That a group called ‘We Need To Talk UK’ has organised events in which trans people—and particularly trans women—have been attacked and described as “parasites”7 and “horrible hateful misogynistic bastards”8.
  • That the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights explicitly identifies Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance as “trans-exclusionist hate groups”.
  • That Woman’s Place UK was founded at or immediately after an event held on 13 September 20179 in which Julia Long gave a speech which involved projecting photographs of trans women, mocking their appearance, and referring to them as “men”. 10
  • That trans comrades report increasing harassment on social media coming from what appears to be an organised and growing group.
  • That Section 2, Clause 1.8 of the Labour Party Rule Book states: “No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which… might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on… gender reassignment or identity”.

______ Branch/Constituency Labour Party believes:

  • That trans women are women, trans men are men, and that nonbinary and intersex people should be recognised.
  • That all members, including trans, nonbinary, and intersex members, are entitled to dignity and respect, as set out in Section 2, Clause 2.7 of the Labour Party Rule Book.
  • That members who behave in ways prejudicial to the Party, as set out in Section 2, Clause 1.8 of the Labour Party Rule Book, by engaging “in conduct which… might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on… gender reassignment or identity” should be held to account for this behaviour.

______ Branch/Constituency Labour Party resolves:

  • To express solidarity with trans, nonbinary, and intersex people both within the Party and in wider society.
  • To support and act upon the 12 pledges proposed by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights11—including pledges 8, 9, and 12.
  • To call upon Trade Unions who fund left media to strongly oppose the circulation of transphobic material in publications whom they fund, and to bring all necessary pressure to bear in order to do so.
  • To not allow any platform within ______Branch/Constituency Party for transphobes, including members of Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance.
  • To support GRA reform, including self-identification and recognition of both nonbinary and intersex people.
  • To resist any attempts to roll back the protections and rights afforded to trans people in the Equality Act 2010.
  • To undertake local campaigning work around trans healthcare, such as writing to MPs and local authorities to demand that waiting lists for NHS services are reduced.12
  • To articulate the struggle for trans rights and liberation as part of wider feminist and socialist struggle, as well as other emancipatory struggles against oppression.

Author:

The Editors (@newsocialistuk)

The New Socialist editorial collective.