UK Culture Secretary reveals plans for trans bans
The UK's Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, has said that she will be "crystal clear" when pushing British sporting bodies to follow global swimming authority Fina's lead and ban trans athletes from women's sports.
The Conservative party politician will meet with chiefs from football, rugby, athletics, tennis and other sports on Tuesday and urge them to follow replicate Fina's actions.
In a landmark ruling last Sunday in Budapest where its world championships are being held, Fina's members voted to ban transgender athletes from women's sports if they have completed any part of male puberty.
The body also vowed to create an 'open' category for these athletes in the future, in moves that were praised by Dorries on British radio station LBC and her personal Twitter account.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Dorries revealed she will make it "crystal clear" to British sports bosses that women's disciplines must be reserved for those born in the female sex when meeting with them next week.
Dorries said that she has the "greatest compassion" for anyone that finds themselves "living in a body they don't recognize". This aside, however, she insisted we "can't pretend that sex doesn't matter".
"Sex has biological consequences," Dorries claimed. "If you’re born a male, and you go through puberty as a male, your body develops natural physical advantages over a woman’s. That makes you stronger and faster."
Due to this, Dorries stressed that she is setting a "very clear line" on competitive women's sport being reserved for people born of the female sex only.
"Not someone who was born male, took puberty blockers or has suppressed testosterone, but unequivocally and unarguably someone who was born female," Dorries clarified, adding that she wants all of the UK's sporting governing bodies to adopt the stance.
Addressing recent moves by the likes of Fina and cycling counterpart the UCI, which has halved its testosterone threshold to 2.5nmol/L and doubled its transition period to 24 months, Dorries said that reason "finally" seemed to be returning to the world of sport.
"And when I gather our own sporting governing bodies this week, I’ll be making it crystal clear that I expect them to follow suit," she explained.
"It shouldn’t need to be said, but in the vast majority of sports, asking women and teenage girls to compete against someone born male is inherently unfair – particularly when we know there are existing challenges and barriers that stop women and girls getting involved in sport," Dorries went on.
Despite Dorries' insistence, however, it is understood that the UK government will leave it down to individual sporting bodies to decide their transgender policies as did the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when releasing its new guidelines late last year.