Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg Speaks Again

Thomas Hammarberg has again spoken out against transphobia.

Council of Europe member states should do more to stop transphobia and discrimination against transgender people. The situation of transgender persons has long been ignored and neglected, although the problems they face are very real and often specific to this group alone. They experience a high degree of discrimination and intolerance in all fields of life, as well as outright violence. Transgender persons have been the victims of brutal hate crimes, including murder, in some European countries”

Thomas Hammarberg is the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights. Some time ago he released another strongly worded statement against transphobia and discrimination against trans people, reported here as “Discrimination Against Transgender Persons Must No Longer Be Tolerated”.

He also spoke out against the UK’s Gender Recognition Act’s discriminatory treatment of marrried transitioners:

In some countries there is a legal obligation that a transgender person who is legally married to his or her different-sex partner has to divorce before his or her new gender can be recognised,” he said, citing the problems this causes when the couple can not remarry if their country does not allow same-sex marriage.

Hammerberg has also released a position paper which I have not yet had time to read.  The best coverage of the story is by LezGetReal.

Supposedly in the UK Trevor Philips as Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission is supposed to speak out for those who have undergone gender reassignment (by statute that is not trangender people more widely as some seem to believe).  When did you last hear him speak out on trans rights?  Has he ever challenged the Government on trans rights has Hammarberg has?  Have the EHRC produced any papers like that Hammarberg has just published?  Never. No. And No.  It’s a good job we are part of Europe because neither the Labour Government nor the Equality and Human Rights Commission seems to really care about addressing the issues facing those people who undergo gender reassignment.

(By which you would be correct in assessing that I am rather fed up with those in the UK who are supposedly the advocates of transitioners.)


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