Stonewall UK Critic Appointed to Nation’s Equality Board
Judge and Stonewall UK critic Akua Reindorf is the latest name added to the U.K Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) thanks to prominent conservative leader Liz Truss.
An employment judge, Reindorf is known for authoring a June 2021 report criticizing leading U.K. LGBTQ rights group Stonewall UK for its role in advising universities and other organizations on trans inclusion. Dubbed the Reindorf report, the University of Essex-commissioned review saw Reindorf criticize both Stonewall UK and the university after school officials disinvited two “gender critical” speakers amid outcry.
Reindorf characterized Stonewall UK’s advice to the university reflected “the law as Stonewall would prefer it to be rather than the law as it is” despite the organization’s work lining up directly with the EHRC’s guidance on the 2010 Equality Act. Reindorf also described trans people using the bathroom aligned with their gender identity at the university as a “contested issue,” which university policy defines as a discriminatory act.
The Reindorf report’s publishing led to multiple trans and nonbinary students at the University of Essex being bullied and harassed, with the university extending official policies to those student populations. The university declined to apologize to the two “gender critical” speakers, which Reindorf recommended it do in the report.
“Akua will bring great experience, expertise and intellectual rigor to the role and I look forward to working with her to deliver the government’s leveling up agenda,” said Truss.
Chile Elects Pro-LGBTQ President
Less than two weeks after passing marriage equality legislation, Chilean congressperson Gabriel Boric was elected as the nation’s next president, defeating former lawmaker and far-right figure José Antonio Kast by an eleven-point margin.
Boric, 35, will be the youngest president in Chilean history when he takes office on March 11. Boric supported multiple pro-LGBTQ policies during his time as a lawmaker and pledged to address LGBTQ and gender equality further in his upcoming presidency. “I am going to be the president of all Chileans,” Boric said during a television appearance with current president Sebastian Pinera.
Rising to prominence as a student activist, Boric also aims to address growing economic inequality in Chile during his time in office. “We have an enormous challenge. I know that in the coming years, the future of our country is at stake,” Boric said. “I guarantee that I will be a president who cares for democracy and does not risk it, listens more than speaks, seeks unity, and attends to the needs of the people daily.”
Quidditch Dumping Name After Latest J.K. Rowling Transphobic Statements
Quidditch, the broom-and-ball real-life sport inspired by a similar sport in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, is seeking a new name in an effort to distance itself from Rowling following years of anti-trans statements.
In a joint statement, U.S. Quidditch and Major League Quidditch announced the move and that the organizations will conduct “a series of surveys” in the coming months to determine a new name for the sport. “For the last year or so, both league have been quietly collecting research to prepare for the move,” said MLQ commissioner Amanda Dallas.
Alex Benepe, who co-created the real-life form of Quidditch with Xander Manshel in 2005, praised the decision. “Big changes like this don’t come without risk, but I’ve been a strong advocate for making this move for a long time,” said Benepe. Quidditch currently fields more than 450 teams in 30 nations across the globe.
The statement also cited Warner Bros. ownership of the trademark on the term “Quidditch” as a motivating factor in the leagues’ decision to rebrand the sport. “The sport needs its own space without limits on its growth potential and changing the name is crucial to achieving that,” said Benepe.
The announcement comes as Rowling again became the subject of headlines for her transphobic rhetoric after deriding Scottish Police for cataloging rapists by their self-defined gender identity. “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penis-ed Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman,” Rowling tweeted earlier this month.
“Our sport has developed a reputation as one of the most progressive sports in the world on gender equality and inclusivity, in part thanks to its gender maximum rule, which stipulates that a team may not have more than four players of the same gender on the field at a time,” the USQ and MLQ joint statement read. “Both organizations feel it is imperative to live up to this reputation in all aspects of their operations and believe this move is a step in that direction.”
Stonewall UK: Previously on Towleroad
Photo courtesy of Government Equalities Office