The Conservative government has been stuffing the EHRC – the Equalities and Human Rights Commission – with anti-equality bigots for some time, which is why it recently and very publicly u-turned on its guidance regarding trans people and the Equality Act. But even knowing that, the latest minutes from the EHRC’s Scotland Committee are absolutely devastating. The EHRC’s own staff said that its politically motivated attacks on trans people were wrong in law, would remove trans people’s human rights and posed an existential threat to the EHRC’s continuing existence. The EHRC is supposed to protect human rights, but in its current incarnation it is clearly the enemy of marginalised groups.
The Committee notes that the proposed amendments would ‘[undermine] the Commission’s long held position on trans rights’, which would pose ‘reputational risk’. The Committee also recommends that ‘the Board should consider the risk to our perceived political independence if we are perceived to be aligning with Government in the absence of robust evidence. This is a potential existential risk that such a perception could risk the Commission’s existence going forward’.