The I word – I for intersex – is to be mentioned in the House of Lords, Tuesday, 24th January 2012. Will intersex be equally included in the proceedings?

By on .

WE can be forgiven for being just a little dubious, given the United Kingdom’s truly rotten record on intersex equality, intersex human rights and intersex exclusion from the Equality Act 2010 and other law reforms, and the loss of the right to administrative corrections of sex resulting from the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Intersex people were not part of the consultation process for those Acts and others, yet these reforms all impinge upon intersex human rights, or rather the lack of them. As they say at IVIM/OII Germany, “nothing about us without us.”

We are wondering whether intersex inclusion in this event will amount to more than just two mentions of the word in the flyer. We hope that our fears of yet more intersex exclusion will be proven wrong.

United Nations Association: Human Rights for Sexual Minorities: Is the UN the right forum to campaign?

At the time of publishing this news item, no further details are available other than what is in the flyer graphic, above. “Around the world,” goes the text, “individuals suffer discrimination and violent attack because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI).” That is very true in the case of intersex people who have no protection against discrimination anywhere in the world including in the United Kingdom, although intersex people are mentioned in South Africa’s sex discrimination act.

The text continues: “David Cameron’s insistence at the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that the UK might cut aid to countries that do not adhere to proper human rights led to intense reaction in some African states.” Prime Minister Cameron needs to put his own house in order regarding his nation’s systemic discrimination against intersex people before he can hope to gain credibility on his stance on “proper human rights.” Apparent hypocrisy is not well applauded on the international stage.

The flyer’s text ends with: “Our speakers will point to human rights abuses by UN member states, many being signatories to international Human Rights conventions, and explore what international action can be taken to end this persecution and where this action should be taken. All are invited to attend.”

We hope the speakers at the event – Lord Judd, Stuart Milk, Renato Sabbadini and Emma Reed – will be fully and equally intersex inclusive and will explore the persecution of the intersex citizens of the very nation whose people they will be addressing as well as in the rest of the world.

We encourage all intersex people who can make it to this event to attend, take part in the discussion if possible, speak privately with Emma Reed in particular and to make contact with all four people listed below as well as anyone else willing to listen to our case for fundamental human rights and to be an ally in our struggle.

There are no legitimate excuses for the exclusion of intersex people – 4% of the global population – from fundamental human rights.



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