British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that people born male should not compete in women’s sporting events, after a transgender cyclist was kicked out of the women’s race.
The debate in Britain over transgender rights has grown increasingly fierce, with other members of Johnson’s government saying it should be left to sporting bodies to decide who will compete.
But with divisions emerging in the opposition Conservative and Labor parties ahead of local elections on May 5, Johnson has gone further by wading through the gender front of Britain’s so-called “culture war”.
Boris Johnson: “I think it makes sense”
“I don’t think biological males should compete in women’s sporting events. And maybe it’s controversial, but it makes sense to me,” she told reporters.
“And I also think that women should have a space – whether that’s in a hospital or a prison or a locker room or anywhere else – dedicated to women,” she said.
“If it gets me into conflict with some other people, then we have to work things out. That doesn’t mean I don’t have tremendous sympathy for people who want to change their gender, transition, and it’s very important that we give people their fullest love and support. .” in making that decision,” Johnson added.
His intervention comes after the government was forced to make a humiliating twist last week, hours after a report said it planned to overturn a law to ban “gay conversion therapy”.
Johnson’s government to exclude “transgender therapy”
Following protests from Conservative lawmakers in favor of the ban, Johnson’s government said it would comply with the law but would exclude “transgender therapy” to allow counseling for youth seeking gender reassignment.
The change, of course, comes a day after Conservative MP Jamie Wallis became the first UK MP to come out publicly transgender, prompting messages of support from colleagues including Johnson.
“We’re going to ban gay conversion therapy, which to me is absolutely disgusting,” Johnson said. “But there’s complexity and sensitivity when you move from the realm of sexuality to gender issues, and there I’m afraid there are things that I think still need to be worked out.”
Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges exception
Last weekend, transgender cyclist Emily Bridges was banned from the women’s race in the UK after the UCI, the sport’s world governing body, ruled she was ineligible.
The 21-year-old said he felt “harassed and hated” following the UCI’s decision to cancel the permit granted to Bridges by British Cycling, Britain’s main sporting body.
UK Cycling has allowed Bridges to participate under its “transgender and non-binary participation policy”.
The initial decision to allow Bridges to compete has generated much controversy, with threats of a boycott by other female runners if she is allowed to compete.
Critics accuse unfair advantage
Critics claim that trans athletes have an unfair advantage even when testosterone levels have dropped due to the impact male puberty has on the body.
The government’s decision to exclude conversion therapy for transgender people from the next bill prompted the resignation of its envoy for LGBT+ affairs, Iain Anderson, on Tuesday.
It also caused more than 100 charities and groups to withdraw from the government’s first international LGBT+ conference, scheduled to take place in June, forcing the event to be cancelled.
Another case of transgender athletes
New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first transgender athlete to compete at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas last month became the first transgender National College Athletic Association (NCAA) champion in Division I history after winning the women’s 500-yard freestyle.
Thomas competed on the Pennsylvania men’s team for three years before transitioning and setting several program records with the women’s team, but his eligibility was under fairly close scrutiny.
The latest guidelines from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which were updated in November last year, stipulate that no athlete should be excluded from competition because of an alleged unfair advantage due to gender.
SOME (AFP, Reuters)
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