Our Response to the General Election

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Lesbian Labour warmly welcomes the results of the 2024 general election with the Labour Party back in government and the Tories soundly routed. We extend our congratulations to the many new Labour MPs and welcome back so many experienced MPs. The task ahead is enormous but we look forward to the rebuilding of the economy to benefit everyone, not just the rich, and the restoration of our health and social services, and so much more.

Lesbian Labour has specific demands of the new Labour Government.

  • The government must clarify the meanings of ‘sex’ and ‘sexual orientation’ with specific reference to the Equality Act 2010. Expert legal advice (such as Michael Foran: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4740870 ) recommends tightening the definition of sex to mean biological sex. Without this, sexual orientation cannot be legally protected as same-sex attraction. 
  • Consequently, the government must separate sexual orientation from gender identity. We are homosexuals not homogenderals – too often lesbians are told it is transphobic to reject male-to-female transgender people as potential partners. Same-sex attraction is same-sex attraction and biological males cannot be lesbians.
  • Therefore, the government must protect all same-sex spaces and provisions. The right of lesbians to meet, associate, and access services exclusively, free from verbal or physical threats, legal challenge, transgression or trespass must be secured in and by law. Surely, this was the intention when sexual orientation was included in the protected characteristics identified in the Equality Act.
  • Further, the government must protect young lesbians from gender ideology. Recognising and accepting one’s sexuality and presentation, when this varies from heteronormativity, takes courage at any age. For teenagers and young adults it is especially challenging when LGBTQIA+ organisations espouse transition as a route to more comfortable social acceptance. The tragic corollary of this is the growing number of young women, lesbians who are de-transitioning, who are often permanently scarred following ill-advised hormone treatment and radical surgery.
  • In this regard, it is essential that the government implements the recommendations of the Cass Review in full, ensuring that reliable talking therapies enable young people to choose their most appropriate medical pathway and adopting a watchful waiting strategy for teenagers avoiding the irreversible and harmful use of puberty blockers and hormones.

We look forward to working with the new administration to inform understanding of these matters. We welcome Sir Keir Starmer’s publicly stated willingness to meet with us and other women’s organisations. We hope that he and his ministers will heed our demands now they are in government and thus able to issue appropriate guidelines and to legislate accordingly.

Lesbian Labour

June 5, 2024.

Five years on…

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Ahead of the upcoming general election, one of our members reflects on five years of campaigning for sex-based rights:

On Nov 17th 2019 I shared on Facebook “The Labour Women’s Declaration” asking for support for LWD, the group I was in, who were trying to get through to the Labour Party about the situation for women members.

We had been lobbying to ensure that sex self-ID was not included in the manifesto and were waiting to see the outcome of the Clause V meeting.

Ironically, almost five years later I shared another declaration whilst the Clause V meeting for the 2024 Labour manifesto was underway. This time “The Lesbian Fightback Declaration”.

It surprised me that there was a symmetry and a political rhythm to my activism.

It gave me pause for thought and I asked myself why my activism was now focused on Lesbians?

Had we achieved our goals for women’s rights in the intervening 5 years?

What progress had been made?

I said in my blog five years ago that I would go on and on and on till all our sisters are free.

…till all our sisters are free

Well – here I am still going on and on and on, and women’s rights are in a worse place than they were 5 years ago. Locally, nationally and globally. From the caring and economic burden women carried throughout lockdown, Sarah Everard’s murderRoe v Wade being overturned, to the horrific sexual violence used against women in wars around the globe – there is still much to be fought for.

Yet alongside all of these issues perhaps the most pernicious influence and erosion of women’s rights comes from the unrelenting onward march of gender ideology.

Yet alongside all of these issues perhaps the most pernicious influence and erosion of women’s rights comes from the unrelenting onward march of gender ideology.

This has had an impact across society as one sector or institution falls under the Stonewall spell and begins to chant the mantras, change their language, abandon critical thinking and impose an Orwellian reality on women and girls.

The social contract we had previously fought for and won that established the need for separate spaces for men and women in order to uphold privacy, dignity, safety and fairness appears to have been abandoned. There have been many fronts in this war on women.

We have been fighting to maintain funding for women-only services and to keep awards for women’s achievements sex-based.

The War on Women

Battles in health,  maternity care (see also), hospital accommodationintimate care (see also).

Prisonsrefugesrape crisis centreschanging roomstoiletssports.

In education, of particular concern, has been the spread of gender ideology and unregulated RSE materials (see also) in schools and the concomitant rise in girls referred for gender reassignment and subsequently put on a medical pathway.

The legal system, policing and data collection have all been affected with a number of expensive high-profile cases all trying to establish new case law in this brave new world.

Crime statistics now being logged according to gender not sex; rape survivors being expected to refer to their rapist by preferred female pronouns (see also); and the Haldane judgement (currently being challenged) stating that the word woman in law now includes men in possession of a GRC; new hate crime law in Scotland being used against those who correctly sex people.

Freedom of thought, speech and expression in academia, journalism, media and the arts has been particularly affected, with academicsjournalistswritersartists and musicians sacked, cancelled and vilified for speaking up, speaking out. Sex-realist books have been removed from some libraries and hidden from view in book shops, whilst even Feminist libraries have become censors.

The police have stood by whilst women speaking out have been violently attacked and harassed whilst exercising our right to free speech (see also).

Internationally gender ideology has taken root as one country after another misguidedly adopts self ID and the EU and UN are both fully captured.

But the tide is turning.

Battles won…

In the past year there have been a number of investigations (Tavistock clinicMermaidsStonewall and WPATH) into organisations spreading the ideology, exposing their malpractice and most recently the Cass review (see also) proved us to be right in what we have been saying.

There were significant legal wins too e.g. Jo Phoenix won against the OU.

Allison Bailey challenged Stonewall’s influence on her employer.

LGB Alliance defeated Mermaid’s challenge to their charity status.

In 2021, Maya Forstater won her employment tribunal appeal and gender-critical views are now considered worthy of respect in a democratic society:

  • Giving protection against harassment.
  • Preventing refusal to employ someone because of views expressed online.
  • Preventing the compelling of people to use pronouns or to comply with policies based on gender
    ideology.
  • We can also challenge employers, schools and universities if they don’t provide changing, washing or toilet facilities that offer privacy from members of the opposite sex.

“cross-party working has been very effective

Throughout the last five years cross-party working has been very effective, with women across the political spectrum from all parties and none signing the Women Uniting petition which we launched in 2020. New organisations have sprung up able to keep the issues in the public eye like Sex Matters.

Gains

In the last year there have been a number of gains.

Cross party parliamentary lobbying has kept the debate alive and well informed in both the house of Commons and House of Lords.

We saw the government overturn the disastrous GRB in Scotland.

There was no Conversion Practices bill.

Significant speeches from Kemi BadenochVictoria Atkins, and Gillian Keegan left us all hopeful around school’s guidance, banning of puberty blockers, return to common sense language and single-sex wards in NHS, the process of obtaining a GRC and clarification of the EA2010.

Perhaps the various consultations to which many of us have contributed were worth the effort?

With so much to do, and so much going on, why did I choose to start campaigning specifically for Lesbians?

Why I shifted my campaign focus

Part of my work with LWD was following up correspondence. We had sent David Evans, general secretary of the party, a portfolio of cases of women members being investigated, suspended, expelled from the party for holding sex-realist views. We had also pointed out how inconsistent the rule book was in its use of sex and gender. That was the earliest example for this tenacious lesbian of no response and no debate. I watched as one of us after the other was silenced. I myself ended up being investigated.

So, I figured since the door was firmly closed in the faces of women trying to raise concerns, that it might be open for lesbians. The rationale was that since Labour were clearly listening to Stonewall and other organisations singing from the gender ideology hymn book, then they ought to be open to a lesbian group?

So, we formed Lesbian Labour. The L from the LGBT.

Once we were through the door as a minority group, who Labour claimed to support, we could argue the case for women.

Well, the rest is history as anyone who has followed the progress of Lesbian Labour will know.

We met the double wall of being ignored by LGBT Labour and found that the only narrative about sexual orientation was completely controlled by Stonewall and Gendered Intelligence who were training the NEC. Those of us who know what a woman is and know that only women can be lesbians are accused of being “transphobic” and excluded from the discussions.

Clearly there was work to be done. Not only were we not being listened to as women, but as lesbians we were completely invisible in a world where the impact of self ID was already being played out. Men claiming to be women who love women therefore lesbian!

And we knew that the majority of those girls being referred for gender reassignment were young lesbians – as has been acknowledged in the Cass review.

Women’s rights though?

The positive side of this attack on women’s rights is that there is a fabulous strong movement of women standing shoulder to shoulder as the suffragettes did. Women who won’t wheesht.

We approach the battle in many different ways. All valid. There is no leader. We have those who nurture legislation through parliament, women holding their political parties to account and standing for election, the international lobbyists, the direct action sisters, the free speech women, the academics, the celebrities, the keyboard warriors, the letter writers, the events organisers, the artists, musicians, comediennes, the designers….

So many that I can afford to focus on fighting lesbian erasure. Most of the time we are included in the wider women’s struggle. After all we are women! But we do still encounter a lack of understanding and are an afterthought to a lot of women. Many lesbians are at the forefront of campaigning for women’s rights. We always have been. We always will be. Stands to reason.

But we have to fight homophobia, lesbophobia, misogyny from gay men and heterosexism, on top of the sexism and misogyny from broader society.

Lesbians’ sex-based rights are additional to those we need as women for safety, privacy, dignity and fairness. We need the right to gather with other lesbians – without men.

If sex is replaced by gender identity that impacts on sexual orientation.

Don’t fall for the lie of the big happy rainbow family.

We are considered to be the “wrong sort of lesbian”, no longer welcome at Pride events.

We are holding the line.

And at the risk of being repetitive – I will go on and on and on until every lesbian is free!

One More Time…

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Having spent many hours trying to communicate with Labour party policy makers since the last manifesto was written, and attempting to educate them, we are disappointed that instead it looks like they will continue to toe the Stonewall line.
If LGBT Labour is anything to go by this is what we can expect to see in the new manifesto:

These are a few reasons why we disagree with them:

Conversion Practice Ban

There is no need for new legislation as current legislation can be used to deal with any conversion practices still happening. However, bringing in a no loopholes ban would potentially criminalise talking therapies which young people access to help sort out their feelings of confusion with how they live in their sexed bodies. We know from the Cass review how commonly young Lesbians in particular ended up on a medical pathway. This is actual conversion practice which would NOT be tackled by your proposals.

Spousal veto

We do not believe Anneliese understands this point. We first contacted her in January 2023 to encourage her to understand that spousal consent would be a more appropriate term.

Jan 23rd 2023

Dear Anneliese…

Can you clarify your objections to the spousal consent part of the GRC process please? I am trying to argue your position and do not have the details.

What I do know is that Trans Widows is a group worth talking to.

The Lesbians I know in marriages where their partner transitions are then effectively left in a heterosexual marriage. Similarly, a heterosexual woman will find herself in a same-sex marriage which she never signed up for either. If they wish to leave the marriage the veto gives them time to annul or dissolve the marriage. Recognising the financial support a woman in a heterosexual marriage with family commitments may continue to need, also needs to be addressed fully.

The spousal exit clause would be a more accurate wording.

One almost invisible impact of transitioning on spouses in the first category is that they find themselves with no support from their erstwhile community once they are considered heterosexual. Their partner, on the other hand, who was Lesbian and part of that community, can continue to receive support in their new identity as Transman.

I wondered if you have come across these points?

Hate Crime Legislation

As proposed, and as has been seen in other countries who have brought in such hate crime laws, rather than protecting Lesbians, this change would mean the law could be used against us when correctly sexing people. We first contacted Keir about this in 2022.

Oct 20th 2022

Dear Keir,

Despite trying for two years we have not been granted a meeting with you. However Pink News seems to have unfettered access. Can you articulate why many Labour members will have been deeply disheartened by your twin announcement at the Pink News Awards that under your leadership LGBT Hate Crimes, including offences such as misgendering, will be treated as  aggravated offences, and that Labour will introduce self ID?
I doubt it as the much promised “Light” on the subject has still not happened.
The manifesto said:

“we are not complacent about the culture shift required to make LGBT+ inclusivity a reality”

So what has actually been done to address the contradictions between self ID and sex-based rights?

What has been done to ensure that sex is not replaced by the nebulous concept of gender identity thereby losing same-sex attracted people our protected characteristic of SEXUAL ORIENTATION?

There has been no impact assessment on how Lesbians would be affected by self ID.

There has been no consultation or debate.

Instead – there is an embedding of gender ideology throughout the party at all levels and with training from Gendered intelligence who brief against the law.

It is not enough to listen to the trans community and then impose their wishes on everyone else.

You have a public sector duty to foster good relations between the protected characteristics.

You have yet again failed in that duty.

Please agree to meet us or at least tell us that you have taken note of our concerns but do not agree.

Then we know where we stand.

We are desperately trying to keep women, especially Lesbians, in the party. We want to believe that you are somehow still ignorant of the issues rather than simply wilfully ignoring our concerns.

When one of our comrades stopped you in the street recently to tell you what is happening to Lesbians you said “Where is this happening?”

Here Keir.

Please arrange to meet us. Or have the decency to answer our letters.

GRA and EA2010

We have been asking for details on how you plan to do this for years. We need you to clarify that sex in EA2010 refers to what was originally intended i.e. birth sex not what is now termed legal sex.

And we need the right to organise as Lesbians protected by sexual orientation AND sex in order for our community to even be able to EXIST.

We say:

Re-affirm the meanings of ‘sex’ and ‘sexual orientation’
Separate sexual orientation from gender identity
Protect all same-sex spaces and provisions
Protect young lesbians from gender ideology

Dear Angela…

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We have decided to publish our email correspondence with Angela Eagle MP since our inception. Angela is a senior Labour Party MP and a Lesbian. Yet all of the following messages from us, a group of Lesbians within the Labour Party and wider labour movement, have gone unanswered. 17 emails in three years.

We therefore publish these unanswered emails in order to draw attention to the lack of engagement from key Party members such as Angela, who purport to speak for us.

27th April 2021

LL to Angela Eagle

Dear Angela,

We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new campaign group for Lesbians in the Labour movement. As the most prominent out Labour politician we are hoping for your support. Please find attached our introductory leaflet which explains our aims in a nutshell, but see below for our social media links and our website which launched last week.

We have had a great response all round with almost 3000 hits on the first day.

You will find our founding statement there and lots of articles and actions and links.

It would be good to have the opportunity of a meeting with you to explain more about our plans.

Your endorsement would mean a lot to us.

Look forward to working with you to support lesbians in the party and wider labour movement.

Thank you for having held the space for so long – hopefully we can now support you.


2nd June 2021

LL to Angela Eagle

Dear Angela,

Following Labour’s supportive comments today to signal the beginning of Pride month, I am resending our request for your endorsement.

The group is attracting a lot of attention and is a clear voice for Lesbians. We look forward to speaking with you and request once again a meeting to share our views.
With Pride


Feb 3rd 2022

Dear Angela,

I am writing to express my concern at the cancellation of the event to commemorate Maureen Colquhoun. Cancel culture has no place in the Labour party. Helen Lewis is a respected journalist and writer and was invited based on her knowledge of Maureen’s life. Her opinions on any other subject are her own and she has a right to hold them.

This is clear example of why we need an organisation to promote Lesbians.

Lesbian Labour wrote to you upon our formation and several times since asking to meet. We have met a brick wall and have also been told by LGBT Labour that they will not work with us. In addition we have been refused Friends of Labour status based on the premise that an affiliate organisation already exists and that having us a Friends of Labour would be duplication. This is a vicious circle.

Our group represents Lesbians in the Labour party and wider Labour movement. We request a seat at the table.

Please respond. We have a growing number of followers and there are a lot of Lesbians who also feel unrepresented by umbrella groups.

Paula Boulton


Feb 13th 2022

Dear Angela,

Please can you find the time to send the email to the UNHCR about the situation of Lesbians in the Kakuma refugee camp? The conditions for all the inhabitants of Block 13 are dire but we campaign for Lesbians.
In addition to the addresses in the attached email there are also the following addresses

Paula Boulton


April 27th 2022

Dear Angela,

Still hopeful that you will grant us at least a conversation about Lesbians in the party who are not represented by LGBT Labour who refuse to speak to us.

We have had a very successful first year and would very much like to have some dialogue.

Please arrange a meeting with us.

In solidarity,

Paula Boulton


June 30th 2022

Dear Anneliese, Keir and Angela,

As Pride month comes to an end I wanted to share with you what Lesbian Labour has been doing to celebrate Lesbians.

https://youtu.be/xpYAiXr4ez4

I interviewed 17 random Lesbians to ask them about their perspectives and lives and each interviewee was asked about party politics. I invite you to listen to the reality presented here.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8W1dJoBkKn0LLjfgO_KzGIB3vsAFtrzI

There has been an overwhelming response and many more Lesbians have come forward to share their stories.

I have sent them to the BBC LGBT correspondent Lauren Moss.

There are some very explicit messages to Labour. One after the other speaks of being politically homeless, lifelong Labour voters who do not feel able to vote Labour currently. We need to do better for Lesbians . Please listen.

Perhaps one place to start would be for Keir and Angela to respond to Lesbian Labour who have had all our correspondence ignored for over a year.

Anneliese – thanks for engaging with us. Hopefully this will save you all the bother of a focus group.

Paula Boulton


Sept 14th 2022

Dear Anneliese and Angela,

Can you please ensure that the LGBT panel at conference acknowledges that they do not include anyone from Lesbian Labour or any other organisation which supports the legal definition of sexual-orientation?

The continued refusal to discuss the importance of retaining same-sex, not same-gender as the definition of homosexuality is not acceptable.

Anneliese – you have met us and engaged with us.  We need someone to break through the no debate stance on this issue and to be honest enough to acknowledge that the LGBT+ organisations are not fully representative.

Angela – you have continued to ignore us as you physically did outside the conference hall last year. I did speak to Maria Exall at the time and she took my details with a promise to speak. Despite repeated attempts to contact her since there has been no progress.

Neither has LGBT+ Labour shifted on its refusal to engage with us.

Surely you must realise by now, when Lesbians were removed from Cardiff Pride over August bank holiday for stating their sexual boundaries, and LGB Alliance is this week defending itself in court for being a pro LGB organisation – that this issue HAS TO BE GRASPED.

It cannot be ignored out of existence.

We don’t expect a place on the panel. But for at least one speaker to acknowledge that there is a problem in the LGBT community as not everyone is in agreement about the replacement of sex by gender identity and the subsequent knock-on effects for sexual orientation.

This position is deeply homophobic and the public are finally listening. Mermaids was trending on twitter yesterday. One can discount twitter as an echo chamber. But this is not a disgruntled few people.

We want to work with you all. There are now a multiplicity of organisations focusing on gender identity and gender reassignment. All we are asking is that there be organisations which focus on sexual orientation.

Yours ever hopefully

Paula Boulton


Jan 17th 2023

Dear Angela,

If you are free tomorrow between 5 and 6 perhaps you would like to drop in

to committee room 2 where Baroness Nicholson has arranged to meet Lesbians and representatives of Lesbian organisations.

As such a prominent out Lesbian parliamentarian it would be useful for you to hear what other Lesbians are saying about the reality of their lives.

Paula Boulton


Jan 26th 2023

Dear Angela,

I am writing to invite you to attend our Lesbian Not Criminal tour on Wed 16th Feb in central London in the evening.

Would you be free to attend?

If so, I will send further details.

The event is a joint venture between Lesbian Labour and LGB Alliance who are supporting Norwegian Artist and Lesbian Tonje Gjevjon in her campaign.

There will be a panel of speakers, Q and A, Music and performance and socialising.

I do hope you will join us

Paula Boulton


Feb 8th 2023

Dear Angela and Anneliese,

We wanted to invite you to come to our London meeting on 16th February where we are hosting Norwegian Lesbian Tonje Gjevjon, who stands to be criminalised for stating facts about Lesbian reality.

https://lgballiance.org.uk/lesbian-not-criminal-on-tour/

Countries where self ID has been adopted, and biological sex-based reality has been replaced by ideological gender identity, generally enact hate crime laws which criminalise those who state that Lesbians are women.

You would be most welcome.

Paula Boulton


March 5th 2023

Dear all,

Please read this report. It explains very clearly the loss of Lesbian only spaces and the extent to which we are being affected.

As we repeatedly point out, the need to gather with others who share one’s protected characteristic is a cultural necessity and should be uncontroversial.

Without any impact assessment on how self ID affects homosexuality this issue has slipped under the radar.

We would be very happy to discuss this further.

Paula Boulton


April 28th 2023

Dear all,

It is not too late to acknowledge Lesbian Visibility. If the agreed target audience for voters is middle-aged women you will find a good few Lesbians and Lesbian allies in that group.

So for no other reason than to encourage voters – please rectify the silence on Lesbian Visibility Day by sending out a message to your same-sex attracted adult human female supporters by the end of the week.

I gave a speech in London recently to a hall full of Lesbians, and when I mentioned the Labour Party there was an audible groan. I reflected that not so long ago one could have expected a cheer. Then I asked for a show of hands as to how many Labour members there were in the audience. Four hands went up. I then asked for a show of hands as to who HAD been in the Labour party and the rest of the room raised their hands.

I have conveyed this information to the party previously.

Labour is losing Lesbians and knowing what a woman is and that women loving women are Lesbians is a simple message to put out there. As is the fact that Labour understands that SEXUAL orientation is based on SEX not Gender Identity.

I look forward to some positive support for lesbians from Labour.

Paula Boulton


June 12th 2023

Dear Angela,

I request again that you agree to meet Lesbian Labour.

Having just heard you repeat again your views on this issue which opened with you not accepting the reality that many of us are experiencing.

We are not making up the take-over of dating apps.

We are not making up Stonewall’s redefinition of homosexuality

We understand the threat from the right – but that should not prevent us facing the problems arising from forced teaming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

This denial of the plurality of views and experience between Lesbians can surely now be put to one side?

So please do arrange to have a conversation with Lesbian Labour.

Paula Boulton


September 27th 2023

Dear Angela,

Would you be good enough to send us a statement that can be read out at our fringe meeting outlining the Labour Party’s position on homosexuality and sexual orientation as a protected characteristic?

Lesbian Labour, The Gay Men’s Network and LGB Alliance are meeting to come up with a charter of what Labour needs to do to regain the trust of the LGB community and get people to vote and secure a Labour government.

The silence on this issue is really troubling. It looks as if Labour still follow Stonewall and that does them no favours as Stonewall have redefined homosexuality as attraction based on gender not sex.

I know you have a very clear view on this. If it is that of the party then we need to know that.

Paula Boulton


Oct 10th 2023

Dear Angela,

Thankyou for the information you gave people about the appalling treatment of LGBT people in a growing number of African countries during yesterday’s panel.

I did have my hand up to ask you whether the APPG is able to bring any diplomatic or political pressure to bear on the UNHCR about the mistreatment of the Block 13 residents in the Kakuma refugee camp.

Lesbian Labour fundraise to send money to a group of Lesbians in the camp. Reginah Kyazikah, our main contact, was in touch with me last week about the worsening conditions.

No matter how often anyone writes to UNHCR, there is never any response.

We did manage to get the BBC to cover a situation earlier in the year but it seems impossible to make any progress and they are losing heart and hope.

[10/6, 12:05] Reginah: Oh dear am sorry to here that the lesbians in Australia are not allowed to meet without men, here things are so horrible the situation is not yet stable and we are still facing the same challenges

[10/6, 12:05] Reginah: Daily attacks and killings are too many now

Paula Boulton

Lesbian Labour


January 10th 2024

Dear Anneliese and Angela,

In the absence of any response from either of you to repeated requests to meet, I am sending you this short video which was made of the speeches at our fringe meeting in Liverpool.

Please find 2.5 minutes to listen. This is a real and valid concern.

https://youtu.be/cKebcRxLduk

In solidarity

Paula Boulton


April 26th 2024

Greetings comrades on Lesbian Visibility Day,

Since you publicly proclaim that you stand with Lesbians

“today and everyday”, can you all check your email inboxes and reply to the many unanswered emails from Lesbian Labour?

We speak on behalf of those Kate Osborne believes are a minority who maintain that Lesbians are exclusively same-sex attracted adult human females.

There are a lot of us – but because no-one engages with us you can stay in your ivory towers and believe we are an awkward minority. (30 grassroots organisations)

Even were that to be the case – we are entitled to be heard.

The conversation is not going away – and neither are we, which is what I said to Angela Eagle when she walked away from me refusing to talk to me at the reception for Labour Women’s Conference in 2023.

Especially now that the Cass report has proved our concerns about the number of young lesbians – 87% – being put on an irreversible medical pathway rather than encouraged to accept themselves.

We also have links with Lesbian detransitioners.

It is time to talk.

We are willing to engage, are you?

Paula Boulton

 

Our thoughts on the Publication of the Cass Report

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Lesbian Labour welcomes the Cass review final report and hopes it will now guide Labour to listen and act on evidence instead of to continue to follow the Stonewall script.
We have further questions to the government and all those who have sat back whilst this medical scandal unfolded, and to those who have criticised and vilified those of us asking the right questions and speaking out.
Why did it take so long? Look at the damage done in the meantime. At Labour conference in 2018 when we nobbled Dawn Butler about rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) and the recent >5000% rise in referrals of girls for treatment at the Tavistock, we suggested that Labour investigate. She said it was probably due to increased awareness. No Dawn, social contagion driven by a well-funded, ideologically-motivated movement aimed at creating lifelong patients for the medical industrial complex. Follow the money. In the 6 years since, entire families have been destroyed, the seeds of doubt have been sown in a whole generation of children so that they don’t know what is true any more, nor who to believe, nor who to trust.
This report has had to start from the premise that these children need to be taken seriously. It is based on accepting the premise that there is such a thing as “gender dysphoria/distress”. The recommendations that spring from that starting point will go a long way to preventing further damage.
However, the state capture on this issue, especially in education, health and law, means that it is virtually impossible to fix.
This has been, and continues to be a huge medical scandal. As Dr Cass points out, a staggering 89% of teenage girls and 81% of teenage boys involved in the GIDS clinic, were either homosexual or bisexual. It is an ongoing eugenics experiment which targets Lesbians, Gays and autistic youth. Social engineering.
Can there now be an enquiry about social influencing and how ideology spreads?
One of our team, a playwright said, “For me it was simple. I noticed the phenomenon and did what I always do when researching for a new play. I invite you to do the same. Pretend you are a 13 year old girl who is unsure how she feels about becoming a woman. Type a question into Google and go down the rabbit hole. I dare you. I know that from the moment I did that I have had no doubt about social contagion.”
As a society, we need to work out how to build critical thinking and resilience in our children so that they can think for themselves and withstand and refuse the pressure to conform to whatever the next iteration of this will be.
Also – can we look at why girls might genuinely want to escape from girlhood and womanhood? More resources to look at that, which underpins this whole ROGD. A porn-addled society where rape goes largely unpunished, where women are still treated as second-class citizens and sex-objects, paid less, expected to submit to patriarchal standards, where the phallus is king…is it any wonder that girls want to explore the option to become the dominant sex?
We applaud Dr Cass’s excellent work. But the next steps need to begin and they need to begin immediately.

Assaulted and refused service at a pub for supporting women’s rights

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Last year, a group of 23 people – female, male, lesbian, gay, straight, young and old, from all over the UK and the Republic of Ireland were refused service in a Northern Irish bar, Robinson’s Bar, Belfast, because of their legally-protected beliefs about women’s rights.

As well as being refused service, an older gay man who was part of our group was violently assaulted by a terrifying attack by a member of staff.

The group are crowdfunding to pay the legal fees to take this case to court in Belfast, and uphold the principle that it is illegal to discriminate against people for holding gender critical beliefs and views that support the rights of women, girls and LGB (Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual) people.

What happened is unlawful. It is discrimination. And it sets a dangerous precedent.

No woman or man should ever be discriminated against because they believe in women’s sex-based rights and that biological sex is real, immutable, and important in policy and in law.

Please consider donating to their crowndfunder.

You can hear more about the case HERE

Visit their crowdfunder HERE

Write to your MP in support of Lesbians, using our template letter!

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On the 12th of June, Parliament will hold a debate in response to a petition signed by over 100,000 people, requesting a clarification to the Equality Act 2010 protected characteristic of Sex. Organised by Sex-Matters.org, the petition seeks clarification that Sex in law refers to biological sex and does not include the legal fiction conferred by a gender recognition certificate. This is important for women but especially so for Lesbians, since our same-sex attraction (and its protection thereof) is contingent on sex in law meaning biological sex.

We are concerned that this message will be forgotten in the debate since few are aware that Stonewall, and other large organisations that supposedly speak for Lesbians, now define sexual orientation as same-gender orientation!

Please copy our template letter text below to write to your MP ahead of the debate to bring this to their attention. Do feel free to add your own personal touches. You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them by clicking here

Template letter:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to you as your constituent to draw your attention to an upcoming debate in Westminster Hall on the 12th of June at 4.30 pm, scheduled as a result of a petition, to clarify the definition of the protected characteristic of sex as it appears in the Equality Act 2010. The petition, which was organised by the organisation Sex Matters, attracted more than 100,000 signatories. A counter petition which also reached the debate threshold will be debated at the same time, indicating how many people are concerned about this issue.

The Equality Act defines nine protected characteristics which are all given equal weighting in terms of protection in the law (disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, maternity and pregnancy, religion or belief, race, gender reassignment and marriage or civil partnership).

The importance of sex as a protected characteristic, particularly to women and girls, cannot be overstated. However there is currently a great deal of confusion whether ‘sex’ in law means biological sex solely, or including sex as modified by a Gender Recognition Certificate – which describes the status of transgender people who hold a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). Clarification will allow for the provision of clear and lawful single-sex services, in scenarios in which sex is the more relevant classifier and not gender. Examples of services or provisions in which sex is a more appropriate classifier than gender is in medical settings or sport. Transgender people are of course protected under the category of gender reassignment, as they rightly should be from any form of discrimination.

The protected characteristic of sexual orientation however is also contingent on the definition of sex as meaning biological, and it is for this reason that I write to you. Lesbian, Gay men and bisexual people all experience same-sex attraction, that is, attraction based upon biological sex, not gender. Gender is not relevant to sexual attraction.

Stonewall has in recent years quietly modified their definition of homosexuality to centre around gender, and not sex. Since they also explicitly include “cross-dressers” under their definition of transgender, this means that many males now self-define as Lesbians. Under this climate, it is impossible for Lesbians to meet and gather openly without men wishing to join or simply disrupt our events.

It is therefore not necessarily automatic that the proposed clarification of sex will protect same-sex attracted people. Lesbians , in the words of Anne Lister ,“Love and only love the fairer sex”. It is unacceptable that they should be forced to include men – indeed it is outright homophobia. Lesbians’ sexual orientation is exclusive of males as it is based upon biological sex.

I therefore urge you as my elected representative at Westminster to attend the debate and consider speaking on behalf of same-sex attracted people –  to explicitly clarify the definition of sexual orientation in law to mean attraction to biological sex.

Yours Sincerely,

Your constituent

Lesbian Labour Speaks to Victor Madrigal-Borloz

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Standing up for Lesbians – our own Paula Boulton’s thoughts on her meeting with the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Last Thursday I was fortunate to be invited to meet with Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity whilst he was on a fact finding mission in the UK to inform his report.

I was in a 45- minute shared meeting with Dennis Kavanagh from Gay men’s Network, and Kate Harris from LGB Alliance. Originally we had been invited to meet alongside 4 other organisations: Sex Matters, Fair Play For Women, Safe Schools Alliance and Labour Women’s Declaration. We successfully argued for a separate meeting for those of us concerned with Sexual Orientation.

My intention was to represent the grassroots Lesbian voice of Lesbian Labour, Lesbian Strength and Lesbian Fightback.

I hoped to establish an open channel of communication with Mr Madrigal-Borloz and to agree to ongoing dialogue.

Like many others, I had noticed that his work so far seems to have focused almost entirely on gender identity and ignored the other half of his brief-sexual orientation.

Below are the notes I made at the meeting.

Meeting notes – International Maritime Museum 4th May.

Present: Paula Boulton (Lesbian Labour, Lesbian Strength, Lesbian Fightback) Kate Harris LGB Alliance, Dennis Kavanagh GMN, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, IE SOGI UN

The meeting was 25 minutes late starting because he had over run in the meeting with FPFW, Sex Matters, SSA and LWD. We insisted that we be given our full 45 mins.

He refused to share who he had met with. However, there is a photo gallery on twitter of many of those groups. Notable absences – us.

He acknowledged that we had complained that he was not doing his job but thought we should use the meeting time constructively to share views rather than focus on his shortcomings.

He chose not to watch the suggested 4-minute detransitioner’s video as he wanted to talk to us instead. Asked for it to be sent.

He tried to suggest a dynamic for the meeting. In the end it was a free flow.

This was the first time Paula had met him and she asked that this be the beginning of further contact as it was not possible to cover all the ground in one go. He agreed and asked for evidence to be collected and sent to him to inform his report.

He said he didn’t know about Hoyle in Tasmania and questioned whether this was within his remit and asked why she had needed a permit for a private party.

He also had not heard of Nancy Kelly’s comment’s about “Sexual racists” but assured us that he considered the notion of anyone being coerced into unwanted sex to be unacceptable.

He genuinely responded to the idea of Lesbians being expected to have sex with men as ridiculous but has not joined the dots. He believes TWAW. Appealing to him as a Gay man imagining women in gay male spaces fell on deaf ears as he considers TMAM.

He had not heard of the Cotton ceiling and seemed unaware of the threats and protests we as Lesbians have to put up with. Many examples given including policing at Lesbian Strength and violence at Pride.  The HER dating app fiasco also news to him.

Self-excluding from Lesbian activities which have become inclusive was invisible to him. The underground nature of Lesbian life and the resulting lack of role models for young lesbians was news to him.

He claimed to have met with lots of Lesbians and suggested that our view was minority since he hadn’t heard it. Was unmoved by examples of the no debate exclusion we face and that if we were not present then clearly there would be a one-sided view.

When challenged about why he hadn’t published submissions and his statement that some were hateful – he explained that he had to ensure anything he published passed the RABAT plan of action. He had received over 6000 pages of submissions and there was a long process of checking in place. When told that we expected any which stated our views to be considered hateful he asserted that he had never used those words about LGB Alliance at all. Nor has he suggested any of us are linked to right-wing funders etc.

When we explained that there was no representation of same-sex attracted homosexuals on panels and in organisations due to the exclusive nature of LGBT+ organisations he assured us that he wants to acknowledge the plurality of opinions. He is by nature INCLUSIVE and that means opinions too.

I mentioned Kakuma and the fact that lesbians there face discrimination along with the other block 13 inmates but also are in danger from men claiming to be Lesbians.

We discussed the chilling effect of Hate Crime legislation referencing Tonje Gjevjon and our recent Lesbian not Criminal tour.  Paula gave him a message from Rosa in Malta about Lesbians self- excluding for fear of fines if they correctly sex someone. He asked to request that Rosa contact him directly as he has met lots of Lesbians in Malta and all are happy.

He did not accept the premise of homosexual detransitioners – and felt that we were suggesting that trans people do not have agency to make their own choices

He was confused about UK Law and genuinely thought gender identity and gender reassignment were different words for the same thing. When we quoted that gender reassignment was a protected characteristic for those who have undergone or propose to undergo gender reassignment, he explained that this can be extrapolated to mean any trans person since that is their eventual aim.

He said that we were governed by international human rights law and that in the statute of Rome gender identity already exists.

We explained that it does not exist here in legal parlance at all.

He was unaware of Keira Bell, Sonia Appleby, the recommendations in the Cass review, or what David Bell has said. The idea that our “Gender medicine services” were being shut down as unfit was news to him. We said they were all major news stories and that UK was leading the way in protecting children and that we are proud to be called terf island. He says he doesn’t use that term. He also claimed to be unaware of the growing number of countries and US states rejecting Puberty blockers.

He said clearly “any dynamic that affects women’s bodily autonomy is my concern”

The redirection of EU funding to so called “Inclusive” LGBT+ groups was raised and the Lesbians Denied project mentioned. His remit does affect EU policy and Law.

He insisted that he was able to listen to opposing views and rejected our assertion that he couldn’t be considered an independent expert with such a fixed view. He disagreed and felt he was able to do his job and assess cases and would do so if the information came to him through the correct channels of communication.

We requested he stop using the term Lesbian women since this implies there can be Lesbian men – he agreed.

The meeting felt unresolved and ran over time. It was a frank and forthright exchange of opinions and information.

Requests for us to send evidence was reiterated at the close and that dialogue was to be ongoing.

Paula Boulton 04.05.23

“Wrong sort of Lesbian?”

What was clear is that he needs evidence of the situations we face as Lesbians as he was unaware of our plight. Hardly surprising given that we exist almost entirely underground and back in the closet again. He clearly thought that he had spoken to Lesbians -who are, after all part of the many LGBT groups he has met. But the idea of us being the “wrong sort of Lesbian” was news to him.

He assured me that he was an independent expert, despite his obvious belief in gender identity and dismissal of biological sex.

He said he would gladly receive evidence through the proper communication channels.

In the last week I have spoken to many Lesbian groups and organisations and many are sending him evidence as a result.

He, on the other hand, has spent the last week writing his

Country visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (24 April – 5 May 2023) End of mission statement

End of mission Statement

https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/documents/issues/sexualorientation/statements/eom-statement-UK-IE-SOGI-2023-05-10.pdf

This has confirmed for me how much evidence we need to send him. The report is very thorough and shows clearly who he met with and thus the one-sided picture which emerged for him. He has done an excellent job of speaking to those in need of protection against violence and discrimination on the basis of gender identity – mentioned 35 times. The word trans features 84 times.

The other part of the mandate – sexial orientation is mentioned only 29 times, the word Lesbian only 9 times, and gay men only once.

We ask that he now listen to and meet with Lesbians to arrive at an understanding of the violence and discrimination we face.

Please send evidence to hrc-ie-sogi@un.org

Copy me in at lesbianlabour@gmail.com

Lesbian Not Criminal – the tour

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This month (12th – 19th) Lesbian Labour, in conjunction with the LGB Alliance hosted Norwegian Lesbian artist Tonje Gjevjon for several evening events across the UK. Tonje was facing a possible jail term in her home country for a facebook post stating Menn er menn uansett seksuelle fetisjer – Men are men regardless of their sexual fetishes”.

Tonje in a mg-shot style photo, holding a "Lesbian Not Criminal" sign

An excellent write up of the tour was written by Lily Maynard here. Below is our summary of the week.

The tour was a roaring success, both in raising awareness of the issues Lesbians can face when we assert our boundaries as women loving women (hence the name – Lesbian not criminal!), but also in getting women together for discussion, singing, music and dancing!

Several of our own members performed, chaired or spoke at the events, which were well attended by women – Lesbian, bi and straight – who wished to hear about Tonje’s siutation.

We kicked things off in Edinburgh. Chaired by Joanna Cherry KC, we heard from Tonje first then Rhona Hotchkiss, Nicole Jones and Paula Boulton for Lesbian Labour.

Tonje had unexpectedly heard from the Norwegian police that they were dropping the case against her as they had decided nothing punishable had taken place. What a way to start the tour. There was a lively Q and A and much joy at having defeated the GRR Bill in Scotland. We added an additional speech from Kate Harris before clearing the stage for the first performance.

Kicking off with Hungry Hearts we were treated to the spectacle of Kate Harris of LGB Alliance dancing away to the Vagina Anthem setting the tone for the rest of the week. The song may have been cancelled in Norway, but it was sung lustily in Edinburgh.

The one and only Elaine Miller had us in stitches regaling us with the full merkin moment story. She then dressed in her ceremonial vulva robs to present Tonje with a merkin of her own.

Next, an unofficial stop at Leeds’ Virago Women’s Workshop for an early art workshop followed by the tour’s most intimate  round table discussion about how to move things forward.

Cardiff saw women’s choir, Cwfen (Covan) welcoming women in and our own Bronwen Evans chairing a panel of Kate Harris, Dee McCullough, Paula and Tonje. Wales’ LGBTQ action plan and its disastrous consequences for Lesbians was discussed.

More singing and music followed including Calon Lan and the Vagina Anthem twice, which of course got Kate Harris up and dancing again. However, this time she was determined not to dance alone and got many other women up and dancing.

The tour officially ended in London, where around 100 women came to see the panel speak. Kate Barker chaired the panel and this time Tonje was followed by Aja, Jo Phoenix and Paula.

It was a shocking moment for Paula when she announced she was from Labour – there was a collective groan. Asking for a show of hands as to who was in Labour revealed half a dozen lonely women. Asking who had left labour resulted in nearly every hand in the room being raised. There were far too many hands raised when she also asked who had been investigated or expelled or suspended.

Music included the Lesbian Marching song, to which Julia Long led women marching around the room as they chanted and joined in at the appropriate moments.

Tonje, a lover of rap had chosen to finish the night with the acerbic, cutting lyrics of young lesbian rapper Trish who burst on to the stage with red hot anger and tore to shreds the nonsense that is self ID.

After more talking and a great deal of merriment, Tonje was off to Manchester for the final night of the tour where a meeting of around 30 women took place followed by a trip to the gay village.

A few hours later, early Sunday morning Tonje headed back to Norway greatly invigorated by her trip to Terf Island. So many connections made over the week. We need to do it more. And if saying a man can’t be a lesbian is “not punishable” then we all need to say it more!