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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Is it legal to set up a private club -born-women

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Hi is it legal to set up a private club for women-born-women only and exclude male-to-female transsexual people (people who are proposing to undergo,
are undergoing or have undergone the process of changing their sex?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 9 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. What would the purpose of the club be?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
As a forum within which to discuss the gender issues relating to those who have been perceived and socialised as women for their
whole lives using music, dance, poetry and other related forms of communication.
Expert:  Jenny replied 9 months ago.
So is this a group opposed to people who have undergone gender reassignment?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Not opposed, that is not the goal at all.They wish to associate to share their identity as, and to discuss the issues raised by, having been treated by society as women from birth.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Jenny,
This might help it was put together by a group I know. I have changed the names. It was designed to refer to a meeting instead of a club. I include it because it makes references that might be useful. (there may be 300 of us).1. I am asked to advise as to the legal issues which arise in relation to restricting the categories of
people to be invited to a club. The club is intended to be held by a
group of women, calling themselves the club, at a camp site which they plan to hire. I understand that it is intended as a forum within which to discuss the gender issues relating to those who have been perceived and socialised as women for their
whole lives. Consequently, it is intended that the club should be open only to those women who
were born as women.2. In my view, for reasons which I set out briefly below, for this club to be held in accordance
with the club's proposed invitation policy would not involve any breach of the Equality Act 2010
either by the club or by the conference venue provider. Moreover, the club's right to hold a
discussion/club of this kind is protected by the right of freedom of assembly/association set out
in Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is scheduled to the Human Rights
Act 1998.
2
PROVISION OF CONFERENCE PREMISES
3. the club will hire premises for their proposed conference from a third party provider. The
premises provider has said that it will license its premises to any person or organisation it believes to
be acting lawfully in connection with the club.4. Disposal of premises is an activity covered by Part 4 of the Equality Act 2010, and discrimination
in relation to disposal of premises on the basis of protected characteristics of sex or genderreassignment.
By granting a licence to occupy to the club, on an identical basis to the terms upon
which any like organisation would be granted a licence, the owners of the conference venue is
treating it the same as any other like organisation, and not in any different way because of a
protected characteristic or characteristics of the occupiers. The venue provider cannot therefore
be said to breach the terms of section 33 of the Equality Act 2010 (which prohibits discrimination in
the disposal of premises), because it does not discriminate in the terms upon which it offers the right
to occupy them.
ACCESS TO THE club
5. Save for certain specified exceptions, the Equality Act 2010 prohibits any discrimination, whether
positive or negative, if it takes place because of a list of specified characteristics, where - but only
where - such discrimination takes place in the context of one of a number of specified circumstances
(employment, provision of services or public functions, disposal of premises, transport, etc).
6. One set of circumstances in which such prohibitions apply is where members' associations or
registered political parties restrict membership, provision of benefits, facilities or services, or
invitation as a guest. These prohibitions are set out in Part 7 of the Equality Act 2010, but qualified
by the exceptions in Schedule 16 of the Act.
7. Section 101 Equality Act 2010 contains a general prohibition upon a relevant association
discriminating because of a protected characteristic, in restricting access to benefits, facilities or
services, selecting for membership or inviting guests to its clubs.
8. These provisions, however, only apply to organisations defined as 'associations' or 'political
parties' by section 107 Equality Act 2010. It does not appear that they apply to the club.
9. I am instructed that the club is a group of people who share a political stance. It is not a
registered political party (as defined in section 107(7) Equality Act 2010). Nor is it an association as
3
defined in section 107(2), (4) and (5) Equality Act 2010. It has no system of membership. It has no
rules or process of selection. In any event, there are far fewer than 25 people involved in organising
the group. In those circumstances, its activities in inviting people to clubs or discussions are not
covered by Part 7 Equality Act 2010.
10. However, even if they were, it is likely that the club's membership, activities and guest policies
would fall within the exceptions for 'single characteristic associations', identified in s107(9) and
Schedule 16 paragraph 1 Equality Act 2010. These provide that, save in relation to the
characteristic of colour, an association other than a registered political party is permitted to restrict
membership, and also access to benefits, facilities or services and invitation of guests, to 'persons
who share a protected characteristic'. Thus, a women's group, or a men's group, or an association
of transgender people which is an association as defined in s107(2) of the Equality At 2010 is
nonetheless permitted to restrict access to its membership, benefits etc to members of that group.
11. The issue here is whether an association of persons who share two protected chara
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
sorry it would not all add, I put it in a file
Expert:  Jenny replied 9 months ago.
I am sorry but this is too specific for a general question and answer site. I will opt out to see if another expert can answer but I think that you ultimately should take Counsel's opinion on this issue given the complexity and the fact that on the face of it could be in breach of the Equality Act.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks Jenny, I know it is a tricky one.
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.You want to exclude people who have undergone reassignment, is that right?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Alex in writing please as I will never remember! Essentially yes that is the question
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Ok - then the answer is no. It would be a breach of the Equality Act 2010 to exclude people on the grounds of sex, or a protected characteristic which is what you are doing So the answer is no.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Alex please confirm that you read the uploaded notes
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
I read the agreement 1-10 and the-club.txtDoes that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank-you it does
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
That is it for today.
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Great. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site doesnt credit me for the time spent with you and looking at the documents. Good luck and thanks. Alex
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Category: Law
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Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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