The banning of a headscarf at the Holyrood committee meeting was sheer stupidity

On Tuesday, a woman was ordered to remove a headscarf in the colors of the suffragettes during a committee meeting in the Scottish Parliament. The sheer stupidity of this is made all the more apparent by the fact that scarves in these colors are currently being sold in the Parliament building.

How many rainbow cords have we seen? I saw them in the hemicycle, I saw them in the committee rooms, but they have not been deleted. Chickens are coming home to roost for the SNP with the Gender Recognition Reform Bill – we are told over and over it will make no difference to safe spaces and women’s rights and yet, if a man with a masculine body has a gender recognition certificate, he is called a woman and can access women-only spaces and can even give care services to other women.

READ MORE: Scottish Parliament committee closed over suffragette sash row

So it’s just not correct to say that women’s rights, etc. will not be affected, as Shona Robson likes to tell us. We recently had the ridiculous scene of a lesbian woman who didn’t want to date a male-bodied “woman” called a transphobe.

Women’s rights have been defended too hard – what is happening now is the last area men want to claim, and very few people are setting the tone. It’s going to cost the SNP dearly – I just hope it doesn’t cost us independence.

I remember after an independent march I walked into parliament and was asked to leave flags outside – our own parliament. I wrote to my MSP and didn’t even receive the courtesy of a response.

Winifred McCartney
Cashmere

I CAN’T help but think that Beth Douglas (Letters, November 11) got the priorities a bit wrong by saying that without a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), a trans person will be “buried or cremated under the bad sex”. Oh good? I think for most of us, if that was all that was wrong with this bill, we would accept it. Personally, I’m far more concerned with where I go after death than what “sex” I’m buried under.

Beth asks when someone is asked for a GRC before accessing single-sex spaces. I rather think that’s the goal. No one is, and the Scottish government has created an atmosphere where those who challenge biomen in these spaces are called transphobic or told they are imagining things. Single-sex spaces are sex-based, not gender-based.

READ MORE: Scottish Parliament apologizes to woman expelled over suffragette sash

The gender recognition certificate does not in fact offer any automatic right of entry into single-sex spaces. Biological males may be excluded if it is a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim. And no matter what an RCMP says, it doesn’t change the fact that you biologically remain male or female until the day you die, which is why single-sex exemptions exist, for safety where the greatest male physical strength is an issue, for equity where strength in sport is an issue, for equality in representation where inequality is an issue, and for people who are vulnerable and abused by men be freed from the presence of men.

Until the Forstater case, women were shouted at and silenced, threatened with losing their jobs and livelihoods, and our own Scottish government seemed indifferent at best. The trans lobby says Scottish public opinion is on its side. This is not the case, as the 150 amendments to this legislation show. Finally, our representatives listen to women’s concerns. It is regrettable that at present only eight days are granted to examine them.

Trans people should be protected by law, but their rights should never come at the expense of women.

Julia Panelll
Friockheim, Tayside

I AM grateful to Xander Elliards for highlighting the threat of protest action by the Scottish Family Party against the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow (the party plans to protest against abortions at the clinic, 10 November). As MSP Gillian MacKay said, this is indeed disgusting behavior and demonstrates the need for national buffer zone legislation to keep patients safe.

In recent months, the Sandyford clinic has already been targeted by a preacher who has used voice amplification systems, filmed patients and forced some clinics to close. This clinic offers counseling to people who have been raped and sexually abused. This is often where police recommend that victims of assault have forensic samples taken by sympathetic and highly trained personnel. The last thing anyone needs when they go to this clinic is to be confronted by protesters shouting and holding up signs.

READ MORE: Scottish activists react to US states enshrining abortion rights

The ‘Scottish Family Party’ held its annual conference last weekend, saying this year’s theme was ‘protecting children’. This is the same party that recently sent Nicola Sturgeon a cruel open letter about her miscarriage and compared sexual health clinics to Auschwitz on social media.

I hope the Scottish electorate will remember this abusive behavior towards some of Scotland’s most traumatized people. This organization has no interest in protecting anyone or anything other than its own hateful agenda.

Gemma Clark
Cashmere

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