Homosexuality was legalised in England and Wales 55 years ago. The Sexual Offences Act 1967 permitted homosexual acts between two consenting adults over the age of 21. Arguably that – and subsequent liberalisations – really only benefited men; sex acts between women were never criminalised.
But what does it mean to be a lesbian in 2022? This week* Kate Harris – a lesbian and co-founder of the charity LGB Alliance – broke down in court under cross-examination from a male barrister. Michael Gibbon KC, counsel for the charity Mermaids, put it to her that ‘lesbians can include someone who is a woman as a result of gender reassignment.’
A welcome judgement from the UK’s highest court
How should police record a rape where the culprit has male genitalia? The answer might appear to be straightforward: a man is responsible. Yet in Scotland, where the SNP’s obsession with avoiding offence appears to trump reality, things could soon be more complicated.
There is a line to be drawn between violence, intimidation and harassment on one side, and the criticism of ideas on the other
The Law Commission report on hate crime, published on Monday, included a welcome relief for some of us involved in the battle of ideas over sex and gender. The Commission held that a blanket restriction on the expression of gender-critical views would likely be in breach of Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Dr Adrian Harrop, a 31-year-old GP, has been suspended from practising medicine for a month. Harrop, a so-called trans-ally, had conducted a personal crusade online, supposedly to protect trans rights. But woe betide anyone who happened to disagree with him.
The question was direct and to the point, ‘Are you one of them blokes?’
With those six short words, I was the victim of blatant transphobia.
Women in Scotland are angry. Yesterday [20 July 2021*], hundreds gathered by the McLennan Arch on Glasgow Green where their sense of betrayal was palpable.
A major new ruling punishes online abuse and harassment of women.
Police and Crime Commissioners will be elected next week across much of England and Wales. These elections may struggle to excite the voters – turnout in 2016 failed to reach 30% in many areas – but those chosen have the power to hire and fire Chief Constables. They hold the police to account, and they are responsible for “the totality of policing.”