On May 5th, the EU Commission published a report on the implementation of the Gender Goods & Services Directive stating that anti-discrimination law should apply to all trans people.
The EU doesn’t specifically mention trans people in any of its equality legislation, but they had previously ruled in 1996 that the EU gender equality principle should be extend to cover people discriminated against because of gender reassignment.
In publishing this new report, they have now gone further and stated that these protections should be extended to people facing discrimination because of gender reassignment or gender identity.
Some of the people over at TGEU (Transgender Europe) had this to say about the publishing of the report:
“While this interpretation is not legally binding for member states, Transgender Europe welcomes this clear statement by the European Commission that it will interpret EU sex discrimination law to include gender identity. This has been long over due.“ comments Richard Köhler, TGEU Senior Policy Officer:
“This ends speculations on who is protected by EU law. Before, this was only definite for those who have been taking or planning to take medical or legal steps, leaving a big part of the trans community out.”
“However, TGEU regrets that the European Commission accepts the legal situation in member states as sufficient. TGEU recommends introducing gender identity as a protected ground in EU and national gender equality law similar to pregnancy or maternity. This would set aside any doubts and support a consistent application of the equality principle for all trans people.” comments Arja Voipio, TGEU co-chair.