By Hilary White
LONDON, March 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The iconic image of sweet little English school girls in their uniforms could become a thing of the past if the government follows the advice of its new “human rights commission.” Requiring skirts in school uniforms discriminates against school girls who want to be boys, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said in a report this week.
“Gender-specific” clothes, the EHRC said in its 68-page report on the rights of “transsexuals” this week, could be discriminatory. “Pupils born female with gender dysphoria experienced great discomfort being forced to wear stereotypical girls’ clothes – for example a skirt,” the report said.
The EHRC is a non-departmental government body established by the Equality Act 2006 that began to function in October 2007. The EHRC called its latest published “guidance,” the “Provision of Goods, Facilities and Services for Trans People,” a “how to guide” for “managers and front line staff of all levels” that gives “good practice examples.”
Writing today in an op-ed for the Daily Mail, conservative columnist Leo McKinstry said the notice was just more evidence of the supremacy of the “lunatic leftism” that has ruled Britain in 13 years of Labour party government.
“Its politically correct zealotry flourishes throughout the public sector and the quangos. Its fixations with race and gender are written into law. Its obsession with social engineering is transforming the fabric of Britain, destroying traditional, unifying bonds such as family life and nationhood,” McKinstry wrote.
The EHRC issued a media release, however, saying that its report has not “banned” skirts in uniforms. The EHRC’s purpose, it said, is merely to “advise” government. The guidance covers all “public authorities” including councils, schools, hospitals and police authorities as well as government departments. It defines a “public authority” as “any person who has functions of a public nature.”
“Under the existing Sex Discrimination Act, public authorities, including hospitals, NHS providers and prisons, are required to assess the inequalities being experienced by women and men including trans users of their goods and services. Public authorities are expected to take steps to help overcome those inequalities and prevent discrimination.”
A spokesman said, “School heads are currently able to make special exemptions regarding their uniform for students of different ethnicities, faiths and sexes. For example, they may allow a Muslim girl to wear trousers if she wishes while requiring other female pupils to wear skirts.”
Under current law, schools must avoid “discrimination” based on race, religion, gender, disability and “sexual orientation.” But activists have lobbied hard to bring “transgenderism” into the government’s new Equalities bill.
“Under the proposed Equality Bill,” the EHRC warned, “schools may need to also consider the needs of trans students and allow, for example, a trans pupil to opt out of wearing a skirt while requiring the girls in the school to wear skirts.”