As faith leaders, we deplore the government’s silence on reports it plans to scrap the Gender Recognition Act
• Jayne Ozanne is a member of the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel and Church of England’s General Synod. Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah is rabbi of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue
Silence can be dangerous. It allows rumours to run riot, fears to be stoked and falsehoods to flourish. There has been no word from No 10 since its response to a public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) was leaked. The government reportedly plans to scrap a reform to the GRA, which would have allowed trans people to self identify their gender without a medical diagnosis. This has caused deep anxiety among our trans community, leading many to question whether England is still committed to flying the multicoloured flags of inclusion.
When wielded by those in power, silence can be a weapon. It has been deployed for years by various religious leaders to avoid saying anything about the status of LGBTQ+ members in their congregations that might rock the boat. And in that silence, most LGBTQ+ people have rightly heard only judgment and rejection.