MONMOUTH MP David Davies has come under heavy fire after suggesting that transgender people should be forced to use lavatories which correspond to their birth gender.
David Davies, the member of parliament for Monmouth, said in a newspaper column last week that those who identify as the opposite sex, should not be allowed to use bathroom facilities of their preference.
The storm brewed after Mr Davies’ comments were picked up by a pro-trans group aghast at what it deemed ‘unfeeling’ and ‘incendiary’ remarks fired at people who struggle with their gender identity.
In a column for the South Wales Argus, Mr Davies argued that transgender people should use facilities designated to their biological status, in a move echoing the ‘bathroom bill’ controversy in the United States.
“Some might say I am on the ‘wrong side of history’ and ‘bigoted’, but I would maintain that anyone in possession of male genitalia should be expected to use male facilities regardless of what gender they feel they are,” he said.
“If a man decides to register him/herself as a woman, should he/she have the right to use women’s toilets, changing rooms, hospital wards, etc.? This would clearly have an impact on the rights of women using those facilities.”
The comments came after equalities minister Justine Greening, another Conservative MP, proposed changing the law to allow transgender people to legally change their gender identity without meeting current medical requirements which demand individuals live as their preferred gender for two years before making the official transition.
Davies, mindful of a subject given increasing media attention and political debate, said ‘understanding and compassion’ should be shown towards anyone ‘confused about their gender’ but the ‘rights of others’ must also be considered.
A consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004 will be begin in the autumn.