Minister of State for Equalities Baroness Williams is ‘committed to reform of the GRA’

GRA reform, PinkNews Business Equality Award presented by Baroness Williams

Baroness Susan Williams of Trafford, minister of state for equalities, spoke at the PinkNews Awards 2019 on October 16 and said that she is “committed to reform of the GRA”.

She admitted that the the process of reforming the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), which controls how trans people gain legal recognition of their gender, had been more complex than she had expected, but affirmed that she was determined to get it done.

She said: “GRA reform was led by the then prime minister Theresa May back in 2016.

“We then consulted with people and thousands of responses came back… and what I thought would be a simple process turned out to be a complex one. It’s complex, it’s actually quite contentious.

“[But] I remain committed to the reform of the GRA.”

Baroness Williams also announced the winner of the PinkNews Business Equality Award, taken home by Manchester Airport, and spoke about harassment in the workplace.

GRA reform, PinkNews Business Equality Award presented by Baroness Williams

The PinkNews Business Equality Award was won by Manchester Airport. (Paul Grace)

On receiving the award, a spokesperson for the company said: “Inclusivity and diversity are the lifeblood of Manchester Airport.”

Baroness Williams added: “I want as minister [of state] for equalities to live in a world where people at work and at home can be who they are and love who they love.

“I’m very pleased to be able to celebrate the organisations here tonight that are championing LGBT+ equality because an inclusive workplace is a happy workplace, and a happy workplace is a productive workplace.”

She spoke about the harassment that many LGBT+ people experience in the workplace, and highlighted that according to government figures released yesterday hate crimes against trans people in the UK have increased by 37 percent.

Equalities minister Liz Truss also reportedly said this month that she was committed to reviewing the GRA. She has previously called for more “free speech” on trans issues.