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Sturgeon’s dishonest gender bill

Andrew Milligan/Getty

The term “culture war” used to mean something, says Sonia Sodha in The Observer: the “weaponisation” of cultural issues to foment division. But like the terms “bigoted” and “phobic”, it has been rendered impotent by lefty keyboard warriors, who now use it to mean “opinion I disagree with”. And it’s not just on Twitter. Last week, Nicola Sturgeon accused Westminster of “stoking a culture war” when it blocked her radical gender reforms allowing anyone over the age of 16 to legally change sex through “self-declaration”. She says ministers are thwarting a “purely administrative” reform that protects trans people.

That’s nonsense. Trans people are already protected by the Equality Act, which protects all of us from real discrimination. The Scottish bill is different. It would make it much harder to exclude any man who declared himself female from women-only spaces like changing rooms, prisons and hospital wards, as well as single-sex schools and clubs. In California, where these rules are already in place, a woman who complained that someone exposed their male genitalia to her in a female-only spa was monstered as a transphobe. The flasher turned out to be a convicted sex offender. None of this was honestly debated in Holyrood, and Sturgeon has dismissed women’s concerns as “invalid and artificial”. If Scotland were independent, that would be that. But it’s not – and thank God, Westminster has been able to step in.