Boris Johnson: "Biological males must not compete with women" - Politics | PoFo

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Telegraph wrote:Boris Johnson says ‘biological males’ should not compete in women’s sports
The Prime Minister adds that women should have spaces in hospitals, prisons and changing rooms that are ‘dedicated’ to them alone

Children should not be able to take decisions on their gender, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has said he does not think “biological males should be competing in women’s sports” as he set out his position on transgender issues.

The Prime Minister said the “sensible” view was that transgender athletes - such as Lia Thomas, a swimmer who won America’s top trophy in university sports last month - should not be allowed to compete alongside biological women and that children should not be allowed to decide their own gender without parental assistance.

His most comprehensive comments yet on transgender issues came days after the Government decided not to ban trans conversion therapy, as the Conservative Party promised at the last election.

Mr Johnson also said he thought it was important to have women-only spaces in hospitals, prisons and changing rooms but admitted there were “complexities and sensitivities” around transgender issues that “still need to be worked out”.

Downing Street has faced a backlash from equalities groups since its decision to scrap the trans conversion therapy ban and has now cancelled an LGBTQ conference that was scheduled to take place in June, on the 50th anniversary of the first Pride marches in London.

Conversion therapy attempts to change or suppress someone’s sexuality or gender identity. It is already outlawed in several other countries.

The decision also prompted the resignation of Iain Anderson, the UK’s first LGBT+ Business Champion.

Speaking on a visit to a hospital in Welwyn Garden City on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said he was “sad” about the reaction” of “good organisations with whom I, we, have had great relations over a long period of time”.

“We will have a ban on gay conversion therapy, which to me is utterly abhorrent,” he said.

“But there are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender. There, I'm afraid, there are things that I think still need to be worked out.”

On the issue of transgender women competing in sports events and female-only spaces, he said: “I don’t think that biological males should be competing in female sporting events.

“Maybe that is a controversial thing to say, but it just seems to me to be sensible.

“I also think women should have spaces - whether it’s in hospitals or prisons or changing rooms or whatever - which are dedicated to women.

“That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue. If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out,” he said.

He added that he did not believe that children should be able to choose their own gender, including by undergoing surgery to change their bodies, without assistance from their parents.

“I don’t think that it’s reasonable for kids to be deemed so-called Gillick-competent to make decisions about their gender or irreversible treatments that they may have,” he said.

“I think there should be parental involvement at the very least.”

Gillick competence is a medical term used to describe a child under the age of 16 who is mature enough to make their own decision about their gender, without parental consent.

A child is deemed to have passed a Gillick test if they can demonstrate that they fully understand what is involved in a proposed treatment, its effects and risks, the prospect of success and the availability of other options.

The Prime Minister said he was “immensely sympathetic” to transgender people and believed the Government should give them “the maximum possible love and support”.

“That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue. If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean that I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition.

“It’s vital that we give people the maximum possible love and support in making those decisions.

“But these are complex issues and I don't think they can be solved with one swift, easy piece of legislation. It takes a lot of thought to get this right.”

Mr Johnson’s comments come after a separate interview with Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, in which he argued that people who believe they are trans may have either been bullied or sexually abused.

‘More sensitive approach’
In an interview with Sky News on Wednesday, he said “we need to be more careful” when it comes to conversion therapy for transgender people as he backed the government’s position.

He said it is “absolutely right” that conversion therapy is banned “for LGB people” but said a “more sensitive approach” needs to be taken when it comes to those who are transgender.

Referencing a report by an experienced paediatrician, Dr Hilary Cass, he continued: “She just published an interim report just a few weeks ago and she talked about how the children and young people, when they say they have gender dysphoria, it is right for medical experts to be able to question that and to determine what the cause might be.

“Is it a genuine case of gender identity dysphoria or could it be that that individual is suffering from some child sex abuse, for example, or could it be linked to bullying?

“So I think it is right to take the approach that we have, which is to ban conversion therapy for LGB but to take a much more sort of sensitive approach when it comes to trans.”

His comments sparked criticism from trans rights campaigners and charities as “damaging and wrong”.
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