UK News: Hampstead ponds trans-inclusive policy will be ‘vigorously defended’ - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsHampstead ponds trans-inclusive policy will be ‘vigorously defended’

09:06  07 june  2019
09:06  07 june  2019 Source:   pinknews.co.uk

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Trans people's right to use the Hampstead Heath swimming pond corresponding to their gender identity will be strongly defended against any legal The trans - inclusive policy came about following an extensive public consultation that began in July 2018. The Times article alleges that half of the

Hampstead Ponds is a generic term often used for the various Hampstead and Highgate ponds on the West and East sides respectively of Hampstead Heath, North London, England. These ponds are fed by the headwater springs of the River Fleet

Hampstead ponds trans-inclusive policy will be ‘vigorously defended’ © Provided by PinkNews Media Group

A new policy that asserts transgender people’s legal right to use the Hampstead Heath swimming pond corresponding to their gender identity will be strongly defended against any legal challenge, a senior official has told PinkNews.

The City of London Corporation (CoLC), which manages the Hampstead ponds in London, announced on May 23 that it was formalising trans people’s rights under the 2010 Equality Act.

On May 30, an article in The Times said that legal challenges to the new policy were “under way.”

“We’ve received nothing so far [in the way of legal challenges],” Edward Lord, chair of the CoLC establishment committee, told PinkNews on Thursday (June 6). “The policy has been approved by the two relevant senior committees with unanimous support. I am confident in our procedures and in our interpretation of the Equality Act.”

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Hampstead Heath locals support trans women. The policy has been introduced after a major survey found that 60 percent of locals supported trans A spokeswoman told the BBC: “The ladies’ pond is a single-sex space and the KLPA is committed to helping to create an inclusive environment for all

Hampstead ponds trans-inclusive policy will be ‘vigorously defended’ © Thomson Reuters People walk past the public bathing pond on Hampstead Heath in London, Britain, August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

“If we receive a legal challenge to the policy it will be vigorously defended,” they said.

The trans-inclusive policy came about following an extensive public consultation that began in July 2018.

The Times article alleges that half of the responses to the survey – some 19,000 – were “declared invalid” and disregarded.

“What appears to have happened, although pending FOI requests we can’t be certain, is that any response which challenged the ideologically loaded language of the questions was discarded,” the article alleged.

Hampstead ponds trans-inclusive policy will be ‘vigorously defended’ © Thomson Reuters People relax during the warm weather at the public bathing pond on Hampstead Heath in London, Britain, August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

However, this is simply not true, Lord told PinkNews.

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This is a view from inside of the picturesque mixed pond in Hampstead Heath, similar to the 'Ladies Pond ' which has been at the centre of a 'gender fluid' debate.

Members of women-only pond in London’s Hampstead Heath meet to discuss their position.

“The survey was opened and viewed around 40,000 times and 21,000 people responded to the substantive policy questions, with every response being counted,” Lord said.

“No one who replied to the policy questions was disregarded, whatever view they expressed. The alleged 19,000 ‘missing replies’ were actually non-responses – they didn’t provide any data that could be analysed.”

‘Gender-critical’ Man Friday protestors only ones to make trouble at Hampstead ponds

Hampstead ponds trans-inclusive policy will be ‘vigorously defended’ © PA Wire/PA Images People sunbathing at the mixed bathing pond on Hampstead Heath, London, as heatwave conditions continue across much of England. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

Lord also told PinkNews that, as far as they are aware, there has never been any trouble with a man trying to access the Hampstead ladies ponds by pretending to identify as a woman – which is what anti-trans activists say will happen when trans women are encouraged to use women-only spaces.

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Then they can select up to three terms to describe their sexuality, decide whether to display it on their profile and choose whether matches of the same orientation will be suggested first. Hampstead ponds trans - inclusive policy will be ‘ vigorously defended ’.

If the Supreme Court takes the case, it would be the first time the justices address whether existing civil rights laws protect trans individuals. For now, Grimm is stuck in limbo. Earlier this month the Supreme Court issued an extraordinary order blocking the lower court’s ruling in favor of the teen.

“As far as I’m aware, we’ve never had a man turn up and say, ‘Today I’m a woman and want to swim in the women’s pond.’ The only problems to date have been the so-called gender-critical feminist Man Friday protestors at the men’s pond,” Lord said.

Man Friday are the anti-trans group who, last summer, protested reforms to the Gender Recognition Act by dressing up as men and demanding access to the men’s ponds at Hampstead Heath.

Trans people have been legally allowed to use single-sex facilities (including public bathrooms, swimming ponds and changing rooms) that correspond with their gender identity since the Equality Act 2010 became law.

Janice Turner, author of the Times article, has previously been criticised for receiving awards for journalism that “whips up inflammatory prejudice” against trans people.

Turner’s May 30 article misgendered Lord’s ex-partner, who is non-binary, but was referred to by Turner as “a female partner who nonetheless is ‘non-binary’ and demands to be addressed by the pronoun ‘they.'”

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