So i am trying to put together a pitch and then article for the Grauniad on intersex issues. Stories, cases and the like would be great – though i already have some.
However, i am utterly puzzled by a gem i obtained today from the Home Office in response to an open question (something along the lines of “what have you ever done for the intersex minority).
After a day and a half a very short response bounced back:
Other than noting that there is an ongoing review of trans issues, due to report in the autumn (and implying that intersex might be part of that) the spokesman said:
“Current legislation gives intersex people protection from discrimination under certain circumstances – when they are discriminated against because they are wrongly perceived to have one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act (such as gender reassignment, sex, disability amongst others).”
Huh? What does that mean. It sounds suspiciously like, if you are intersex and discriminated against and that discrimination is because someone thinks you are trans or disabled or whatever…then you have grounds for using the law.
He stressed, in further explanation, that the Equality Act covered those “perceived as” having a protected characteristic. He gave as example someone perceived to be male, but using the female facilities at a swimming pool.
I think he meant that even if you were intersex, that you would be able to object because of the misgendering.
Whilst i was speaking to him, this made sense. The moment i put the phone down, it stopped making sense.
So i’ll throw it open. Anyone have any idea what the above statement means and…does anyone know of any instances where an intersex individual was able to use the Rquality Act or its predecessors by claiming that they were perceived to have or not have the protected characteristic of another group?