A UK based transgender charity wants employers to stop using the word ‘mother’ and replace it with ‘parent who has given birth’, because the term is more inclusive.
LGBT+ charity Stonewall, a pro trans charity, has a scheme that advises organisations on how they can become more diverse. The controversial group has issued ‘guidance’ to employers wanting to make the cut on its Workplace Equality Index……but their latest advice has sparked a backlash from campaigners across the UK.
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Campaigners are now calling for an immediate inquiry into how the group has had such an influence on government departments.
The Mail Online reports: Stonewall says featuring on the Workplace Equality Index allows employers to understand their employees’ experiences and shows commitment to LGBT equality.
Those achieving a coveted Top 100 spot, are then able to use the Top 100 Employers logo to promote their achievement.
The guidance includes urging employers to add gender pronouns to email signatures, outlawing single sex toilets and changing rooms, and running a rainbow laces campaign, the Telegraph reports.
Its latest advice, to ban the word ‘mother’ has sparked a backlash, however, with campaigners calling for an inquiry into how the group has had such an influence on Whitehall.
It comes after it was revealed earlier this week that the Equalities Minister Liz Truss wants the Government to quit a diversity scheme run by Stonewall amid a row over trans rights.
Miss Truss is said to be pushing for departments to join the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Acas in dropping the Diversity Champions scheme over fears it is not providing value for money.
According to Stonewall there are more than 850 organisations, including 250 government departments and public bodies such as police forces, local councils and NHS trusts, signed up as ‘diversity champions’.
Membership to the scheme starts at around £2,500, which according to the LGBT charity’s website, buys employers access to expert advice and resources to make their workplaces ‘inclusive’.
However, the charity was embroiled in a new row over transgender rights last week, when its chief executive Nancy Kelley likened ‘gender critical’ beliefs to anti-Semitism as she defended its pro-trans campaigning.
After criticism from the gay former Conservative MP Matthew Parris, Ms Kelley told the BBC: ‘With all beliefs including controversial beliefs there is a right to express those beliefs publicly and where they’re harmful or damaging – whether it’s anti-Semitic beliefs, gender critical beliefs, beliefs about disability – we have legal systems that are put in place for people who are harmed by that.’
Meanwhile, the EHRC, Britain’s equalities watchdog, then cut ties with a Stonewall scheme for ‘woke’ workplaces after claims that it curbs free speech among staff.
Its decision comes amid accusations the scheme is encouraging public bodies and firms to adopt policies that create a ‘culture of fear’ among workers who disagree with transgender ideology.
A letter to the feminist campaign group Sex Matters from new commission chairman Baroness Falkner revealed: ‘We wrote to Stonewall in March to let them know that we would not be renewing our membership, and this has now expired.’
Now, documents seen by the Telegraph reveal the extent of the guidance Stonewall gives employers wanting to make its leaderboard.
Edinburgh University was discouraged from using the term ‘mother’, instead being told ‘parent who has given birth’ was more strongly recommended.
Similarly, Merseyside Police was told ‘pregnant employee’ was ‘a more inclusive term’, while the Welsh government removed ‘mother’ from its Maternity policy, even though ‘father’ still remains.
Maya Forstater, co-founder of campaign group Sex Matters, told the paper: ‘The Committee on Standards in Public Life [should] undertake a public inquiry as to how an organisation that is basically a lobby group got into such an influential position in so many institutions’.
A spokesperson for feminist campaign group FiLiA told MailOnline: ‘FiLiA recognises the impact that dehumanising ‘gender neutral’ terms such as ‘pregnant person’ or ‘birthing parent’ has on women and girls,
‘The recent MOMA (Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances) Bill debate showed that Parliament would not allow the word ‘mother’ to be replaced, yet Stonewall continues to push organisations, including Government departments, to adopt these terms – again, not complying with the Equality Act 2010 but attempting to set the rules as Stonewall would prefer it to be.
‘Maternity and pregnancy is yet another protected characteristic that Stonewall have ignored in their pursuit of gender identity extremism.
‘We should have the words to talk about these characteristics, not least for those whom the English language is difficult.
‘We are extremely disappointed at the lack of critical thinking of the organisations opting into Stonewall’s version of the law purely for the virtue signal of appearing on their ‘Workplace Equality Index’, and their lack of respect for women, and in particular pregnant women and mothers.’
A Stonewall spokesperson said: ‘All employers need to ensure that their staff, including LGBTQ+ staff, are free from discrimination and prejudice at work, and our Diversity Champions programme is one way for organisations to be supported to meet this requirement.
‘More than a third of LGBTQ+ staff (35 per cent) hide who they are at work, while one in five (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments because they’re LGBTQ+.