Want to understand the legislation that affects the LGBT community? Then read on.
Recent legislation such as the Equality Act of 2010 and the Civil Partnership Act of 2004 are working to achieve social equality through law . But are these token efforts from a world that at heart doesn’t want to change – and do any of them go far enough?
In particular, legislation which offers transgender people full legal equality remains an aim rather than a reality, and in terms of legislation that has already been passed, there is the on-going question of its effects being put into place in public life. For example, the Bill which repealed Clause 28 in Scotland in 2000, and which was campaigned against by public figures such as Stagecoach Group founder Brian Soutar, required that councils, in their dealings with children, have to regard the value of a stable family relationship, and that any education about family life would be appropriate to the child's age and development. What’s at stake here is therefore a whole lot more decision making, and so just because something like Clause 28 is legally gone, that doesn’t mean that its spirit can't persist one way or another.
Also, and of more questionable effect, is legislation which has been put into place to apply to officers and members of government who are responsible for spending public money. Such bodies include Community councils, and local councils, which for example, have varying standards and policies regarding the treatment of gender dysphoria.
Further, there are certain public bodies which cannot be covered by regular legislation due to legal restrictions arising from how they were established.
Legislation therefore is one thing, but its action and effect is another. Although the aim of legislation is legal equality, this can be often hard to achieve, even if the right measures are in place on the statute books.
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