Keir Starmer blasted for ‘throwing trans people under bus’

Union leader Keir Starmer

UK Labor Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has been criticized by the LGBTQ+ community and allies after giving an interview littered with worrying anti-trans comments.

Speaking to The Sunday Times on Saturday (April 1), Starmer indulged in a reductive question about whether women “can have a penis” and the “debate” on trans rights vs women’s rights as if the two were mutual would rule out.

He also made a chilling statement that appears to amount to supporting schools that “out” transgender youth to their parents, saying he “wants to know” if his child is being identified as trans or non-binary.

Starmer said, “Look, of course I’d want to know. I say that as a parent. I would want to know and I think the vast majority of parents would want to know.

“So we need national guidance on this and they should try to make it bipartisan, because it’s not helpful for parents or schools to just have this as a toxic divide when practical common sense advice is required.”

When asked about the sex organs women “can have,” rather than stopping this invasive questioning, Starmer said, “For 99.9 percent of women, it’s totally biological… and of course they don’t have a penis.” ”

The Labor leader vowed there would be no “undoing of women’s rights”, going on to say: “I think there is a fear that somehow there could be an undoing of some of the things that have been gained.

“There are still many battles to be fought for women and I don’t think we should take anything back. I think we should win the next fights for women. And that is a very important kind of starting point for this debate.”

In response to the Sunday Times article, LGBTQ+ people, Labor Party allies and supporters – both current and former – took to Twitter in frustration at Starmer’s perceived hypocrisy and dishonesty on a range of issues, including his stance on trans rights reported.

Trans broadcaster India Willoughby tweeted her summary of the Times interview: “‘We must protect women from you – but we will be tough on anyone who abuses you.’ Keir Starmer to the UK trans community, March 2023.”

Another user wrote: “As a recognized and accredited world expert on transgender youth, I can say with confidence that your plan to forcibly return trans children to their parents without their permission will lead to domestic violence and child abuse.”

“I’ve spent the last 5 hours in a room full of young and trans people. They gave me real hope for the future. Meanwhile, Keir Starmer converses with the right-wing Times readership, the older and irreconcilably disillusioned Tories. Political stupidity at the highest level.” read a disappointed tweet.

Others were quick to point this out “Hypocrisy” by Keir Starmer marching with a trans flag at London Pride 2022.

“Why is EVERYONE uselessly surprised @Keir_Starmer doesn’t support trans people. Keir is a hypocritical ally desperate to win right-wing votes.”

The Trans Safety Network tweeted: “We find Keir Starmer continuing to throw the trans community – many of whom have worked tirelessly for the Labor Party now and in the past – under the bus.

“His latest act is publishing anti-trans comments in the Murdoch press. This is unacceptable.”

In the interview, Starmer also attempted to distance himself from Nicola Sturgeon’s approach to trans rights, saying lessons could be learned from Scotland and noting that the public is not “with Sturgeon” on gender recognition reform.

“The lesson from Scotland is that if you can’t take the public on a reform journey, you’re probably not on the right track,” he told the Sunday Times. “And so I think collectively there should be a reset in Scotland.”

The Scottish Government, under former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, passed the Gender Recognition Reform Act (Scotland) in December 2022, legislation that makes it easier for trans people to live as their true gender – and aligns with leading international practices endorsed by the United Nations.

The bill was later blocked by the UK government in Westminster, in an unprecedented use of a Section 35 order that Sturgeon described as a “head-on attack” on the Scottish Parliament.

Newly elected First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Humza Yousaf, has pledged to uphold Sturgeon’s bill and challenge Westminster over its use of Section 35.

A Labor source told Sky News on March 24 that “there will be no self-identification under a Labor government” and that “Scotland is a warning” to the opposition leader.

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Adam Bradshaw

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