Equality Bill - UK

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.
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Colin
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Equality Bill - UK

Post by Colin »

The Equality Bill going through parliament in the UK has raised some media interest. There have been several articles about it becoming unlawful for girls to have to wear skirts as school uniform. Nothing said about boys wearing skirts or kilts, but surely this legislation should open the door to men/boys having equivalent choice in dress code.
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by Stu »

There have been several articles about it becoming unlawful for girls to have to wear skirts as school uniform. Nothing said about boys wearing skirts or kilts
Forget it. The predecessor to the Equalities Commission made it clear that they will never support the right of a man to wear a skirt because skirts are not "conventional attire for men". In other words, on this issue, female rights count, male rights don't.

Also, in view of the election likely to happen in May, I would be surprised to see this get through.

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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by Different_Trains »

Stu wrote: In other words, on this issue, female rights count, male rights don't.
*sigh* Sad, but so very true! :(
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by cessna152towser »

The predecessor to the Equalities Commission made it clear that they will never support the right of a man to wear a skirt because skirts are not "conventional attire for men".
How ignorant they are, have they never heard of the kilt, the lavalava, the sarong, the fustanela etc....
Carry on skirting and they'll maybe wake up to reality some day.
Please view my photos of kilts and skirts, old trains, vintage buses and classic aircraft on http://www.flickr.com/photos/cessna152towser/
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by BBB »

The Equality Bill will over rule any discrimination based on gender the only exemptions will be in the areas of caring where emplyers can exempt posts to exclude either men or women. This new law is bringing a huge cost to medium and small business in areas which are covered by other legislation or allow people to use common sense.
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by AMM »

Stu wrote:
There have been several articles about it becoming unlawful for girls to have to wear skirts as school uniform. Nothing said about boys wearing skirts or kilts
Forget it. The predecessor to the Equalities Commission made it clear that they will never support the right of a man to wear a skirt because skirts are not "conventional attire for men". In other words, on this issue, female rights count, male rights don't.
I'm not sure how Law works in the UK. In the US, the courts often rule according to the plain sense of the law, even if it is not what the people who wrote the law had anticipated. What lawmakers said when making a law is, AFAIK, only relevant if the intent of the law seems unclear. And what someone on this or that commission may have said is utterly irrelevant.

One example is one of the earlier civil rights laws in the US. The law originally just prohibited discrimination on the basis of race and religion (and national origin?) Some lawmaker, to make fun of the law, added "or sex" to it. The law passed anyway, and that's how discrimination on the basis of sex (gender) became illegal. The fact that the lawmakers may not have expected the courts to take the "or sex" clause seriously did not matter; the courts, IMHO reasonably, figured it was not their job to read the lawmaker's minds (assuming they have any), their job was to apply the statutes as written.

Of course, it's hard to compare the situation in the US with the situation in the UK. In the US, there is the general principle that you can do pretty much anything you want in public spaces, and the State has to be able to justify any restriction to that freedom. On the other hand, there is the principle that the "private sector" should be equally free to control their own spaces as they like, and the State has to be able to justify any restriction in that freedom. So, for instance, employers can pretty much hire and fire as they like, except when it can be proven that they have done it for an illegal reason. Employers, shopkeepers, and restaurant operators can have whatever dress codes they like, unless it can be shown that it appears to be intended to exclude people on the basis of sex, religion, etc.

So, in the US, there's fairly little restriction on what you can wear in public -- e.g., laws against crossdressing are considered contrary to the US constitution. But you would have a hard time making laws that would require employers or schools to allow male employees or students to wear kilts. Government-run operations, such as public schools or government offices are in a grey area here, as are courtrooms.
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by Kris »

AMM wrote: One example is one of the earlier civil rights laws in the US. The law originally just prohibited discrimination on the basis of race and religion (and national origin?) Some lawmaker, to make fun of the law, added "or sex" to it. The law passed anyway, and that's how discrimination on the basis of sex (gender) became illegal. The fact that the lawmakers may not have expected the courts to take the "or sex" clause seriously did not matter; the courts, IMHO reasonably, figured it was not their job to read the lawmaker's minds (assuming they have any), their job was to apply the statutes as written.
Do you have a citation for that? I ask because it seems like one of those "urban legends". Civil rights legislation was very high profile, and I find it hard to believe that any legislator added something like that without understanding the ramifications.
It also seems to make light of how hard it was to achieve passage of laws banning discrimination on the basis of sex.

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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by Bob »

Under US Law, schools and employers have not been allowed to discriminate on "race" or "sex" for a while. That was meant to right the consistent pattern of violence and discrimination against ethnic minorities and women.

In the 1990's, "sexual orientation" was added to the list --- to right the consistent pattern of violence and discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Starting the mid-1990's, the courts began to see cases that involved people involved in non-gender-normative behavior and identities --- most obviously transsexuals, but also other people who might or might not fall under the transgender umbrella. The claim was that these people were being discriminated against based on their "sex." Courts ruled inconsistently on this. Some agreed, whereas some took a narrower interpretation of what "sex" means.

So... since then, advocates have worked to get wording such as "gender identity or expression", or "perceived sexuality" put into laws. That covers just about everything. Except it will only give you rights if what you're wearing has something to your gender or sexuality --- to get the protection, you have to make that claim in a legal setting.
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by AMM »

Kris wrote:
AMM wrote: One example is one of the earlier civil rights laws in the US. The law originally just prohibited discrimination on the basis of race and religion (and national origin?) Some lawmaker, to make fun of the law, added "or sex" to it. The law passed anyway, and that's how discrimination on the basis of sex (gender) became illegal. The fact that the lawmakers may not have expected the courts to take the "or sex" clause seriously did not matter; the courts, IMHO reasonably, figured it was not their job to read the lawmaker's minds (assuming they have any), their job was to apply the statutes as written.
Do you have a citation for that? I ask because it seems like one of those "urban legends".
OK, you goaded me into actually looking this up. I found two references, both of which say (a) my version is a widespread interpretation of what happened and (b) they don't think it was accurate: One note was a bit surprising: they said that up to that time, the Republican Party had shown more support for the Equal Rights Amendment and laws outlawing discrimination against women than the Democrats. Another irony is that it was a Southern (Virginia) Democrat who formally proposed the amendment (to the Civil Rights Act.)
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by Kris »

AMM wrote: OK, you goaded me into actually looking this up. I found two references, both of which say (a) my version is a widespread interpretation of what happened and (b) they don't think it was accurate: One note was a bit surprising: they said that up to that time, the Republican Party had shown more support for the Equal Rights Amendment and laws outlawing discrimination against women than the Democrats. Another irony is that it was a Southern (Virginia) Democrat who formally proposed the amendment (to the Civil Rights Act.)
Thank you, AMM, for researching that.
Reading those articles brings to mind the analogy between making laws and making sausage. ( I'm :shock: , simply :shock: , I say!)

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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by Kris »

Bob wrote:Under US Law, schools and employers have not been allowed to discriminate on "race" or "sex" for a while. That was meant to right the consistent pattern of violence and discrimination against ethnic minorities and women.

In the 1990's, "sexual orientation" was added to the list --- to right the consistent pattern of violence and discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Starting the mid-1990's, the courts began to see cases that involved people involved in non-gender-normative behavior and identities --- most obviously transsexuals, but also other people who might or might not fall under the transgender umbrella. The claim was that these people were being discriminated against based on their "sex." Courts ruled inconsistently on this. Some agreed, whereas some took a narrower interpretation of what "sex" means.

So... since then, advocates have worked to get wording such as "gender identity or expression", or "perceived sexuality" put into laws. That covers just about everything. Except it will only give you rights if what you're wearing has something to your gender or sexuality --- to get the protection, you have to make that claim in a legal setting.
Thanks, Bob.
Regarding the last paragraph, here's a thought. If the law has the wording "perceived sexuality", a skirt wearing man could be covered without having to make any claims about his gender or sexuality.
For example, if thugs beat you up while you were wearing a skirt, and they yelled anti-guy epithets, it could be prosecuted as a gay bashing, even though you are not gay. If it were proved that they thought you were gay, and they attacked you for that reason, it was ahate crime, independent of your actual sexuality.
Of course, IANAL.

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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by crfriend »

Kris wrote:[...] the analogy between making laws and making sausage.
That, my dear sir, is libel on sausage-makers everywhere! :bom:

Thanks for the links, AMM. Those should provide some interesting reading when I get some time.
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by Bob »

Kris,

I would agree, the hate crime bills would probably cover the typical SkirtCafe'er who gets beaten up. But so do the general assult-and-battery bills. In any case, our experience has shown that wearing a skirt attracts little or no violent notice from the wider society.

The larger issue for so many at the Cafe is being ALLOWED to wear a skirt in various settings, most notably work. In that case, the state and local bills seems to do nothing for you, unless you lay claim to gender identity or expression.

-- Bob
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by Since1982 »

Agree with Bob...no violence ever aimed at me because I'm wearing a skirt. Most folks that notice my skirt just think a few things IF they care at all. "Is he mentally unhinged?" "Were all his pants dirty this morning and his wife helped out from her long un-used skirt drawer?" "Is he on a crusade?" (YES). And in the very long last possible thought from a man, "My my my, he does look comfortable in that skirt, I wonder if I'd be more comfortable in a skirt?" hmmmmm.. :alien:
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Re: Equality Bill - UK

Post by r1g0r »

Kris wrote:
Bob wrote:Under US Law
snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip
to get the protection, you have to make that claim in a legal setting.
Thanks, Bob.
Regarding the last paragraph, here's a thought.
snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip
Of course, IANAL.
Kris
ok... i profess to having very few prejudices, but what are you telling us here, kris?

as i read it, you're making a declaration about yourself that NONE of us needed to know about.

that should be kept between you and your proctologist!
you know... george orwell warned us!
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