Intersex still less equal than others in the United Kingdom

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KEITH Taylor MEP – Member of the Parliament of Europe – for the South East Region has published a letter of enquiry and its reply as record of his correspondence with British Home Secretary Theresa May and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Equalities Lynne Featherstone. The subject is the exclusion aka “non-inclusion*” of intersex people from the United Kingdom’s equality and human rights law reform efforts.

Keith Taylor's letter of 21st July 2010 to Home Minister Theresa May, enquiring why intersex people have been excluded from the UK’s Equality Act 2010.  Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Equalities Lynne Featherstone's reply of 5th November 2010 to Keith Taylor MEP, explaining that intersex people are only protected if they are mistaken for what they are not.

* OII Australia has been criticized for pointing out or even inquiring into the apparent exclusion of intersex people from endeavours other members of the LGBTI community are a part of. Some correspondents have demanded that we not write “excluded” but must substitute it with “not included.” It is a pity that George Orwell is not alive to comment.

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Editorial comment:

AS the only current ILGA-affiliated intersex organization with full financial membership it is incumbent upon OII Australia to pay keen attention to global happenings relevant to intersex.

A decision on our December 2010 motion that ILGA institutes an Intersex Secretariat on a par with its Trans and Women’s Secretariats to specially pursue intersex equality and human rights worldwide was postponed, not refused altogether. We remain convinced, based on the evidence, that intersex people can only achieve full equality with other human beings via a global campaign with local and regional variations.

We were intrigued and impressed to come across Keith Taylor MEP’s letter to Theresa May last year, attesting to his interest in the fate of intersex Britons. To our knowledge he is the only Member of the European Parliament to show any interest in intersex Europeans, just as his predecessor the former Greens MEP for Southeast England Caroline Lucas – now party leader of the Greens in the UK – is apparently the only member of the UK Parliament to show any interest in or indeed understanding of intersex people and our lack of equality and fundamental human rights.