Equalities minister allegedly referred to trans women as 'men' and mocked gay marriage in a leaked audio recording, report says

© UK Parliament Kemi Badenoch was appointed Minister for Equalities in February 2020. UK Parliament

  • The UK’s equalities minister allegedly called trans women “men” in a leaked audio recording obtained by VICE World News.
  • Kemi Badenoch is also reported to have mocked same-sex marriage, the media outlet reported.
  • A UK government spokesperson told VICE World News that the 2018 comments had been “taken out of context.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The UK’s equalities minister allegedly misgendered trans women and mocked gay marriage during an “anti-LGBTQ rant,” according to a leaked audio recording obtained by VICE World News.

The media outlet reported that Kemi Badenoch, a Conservative MP for Saffron Walden, made these comments in her parliamentary office in 2018 – a year before she was appointed Minister for Equalities by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“It’s no longer about minority rights in terms of race anymore or nationality,” Badenoch said in the recording, according to VICE World News reporter Ben Hunte. “It’s now, you know like, it’s not even about sexuality now, it’s now like the whole transgender movement, where, OK well we’ve got gay marriage, and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looking for?”

The term “transsexual” is considered outdated and offensive by many trans people, and HuffPost reported that it could be seen to go against UK equality laws.

Badenoch also appeared to call trans women “men” in the leaked audio recording, Hunte said on Twitter.

“Even when, you know, so, people hear about, you know like the whole bathroom thing,” the MP said in the recording, according to the media outlet. “It’s actually more of an American thing but they have a similar problem, that, right so now it’s not just about being free to marry who you want, you now want to have men using women’s bathrooms.”

VICE World News also reported that the Saffron Walden MP allegedly mocked same-sex marriage in the audio recording, but offered no further details of this exchange.

Badenoch’s were condemned by LGBTQ rights charities. Stonewall, Europe’s largest LGBTQ rights organization, called her words “hurtful and harmful.” The LGBT Foundation described her comments as “archaic and offensive.”

-Stonewall (@stonewalluk) September 17, 2021

-LGBT Foundation (@LGBTfdn) September 17, 2021

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, called Badenoch’s comments “disgusting.”

-Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) September 17, 2021

A government spokesperson told VICE World news: “The Minister for Equalities is working hard to deliver for LGBT people, whether that is modernizing the process of applying for a gender recognition certificate, driving forward LGBT rights in the workplace or banning conversion therapy.

“This 2018 comment has been taken out of context, with the Minister making a clear point about striking the balance for equality and fairness when there are multiple and often competing demands between different groups. It should not be used to misrepresent her views.”

Badenoch did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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