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Two petitions will be considered in a Westminster Hall debate on 12 June 2023 at 4:30pm. Both relate to the definition of “sex” in the Equality Act 2010. The debate is sponsored by Tonia Antoniazzi MP.

The first petition, 623243, calls for the Government to “Update the Equality Act to make clear the characteristic “sex” is biological sex”. The petition closed on 20 April 2023, with 109,463 signatures.

The second petition, 627984, calls for the opposite, and for the Government to “Commit to not amending the Equality Act’s definition of sex”. The petition closed on 15 May 2023, with 138,886 signatures.

Both these petitions concern trans and sex-based discrimination protections. This is an area of debate that is divisive and highly charged, relating to individuals’ strongly held identities and the rights that attach to them. Many similar issues were raised during recent debates about the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill and the Scottish Secretary’s “veto” of it under section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998. 

This debate pack provides an impartial summary of some of the key points in the debate, and, in particular, the legal uncertainty that gives rise to it.

Documents to download

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