Open letter: Freedom of speech at the University of Bristol

University professors oppose the slanderous allegations against A Woman’s Place UK and support upholding the principles of freedom of speech and assembly in relation to the right of A Woman’s Place UK to hold meetings without participants being intimidated.
A Woman’s Place UK does not provide a platform for hate speech against any group. Its meetings are open to all, and speakers at its events have included trans people. It has never campaigned against the current Gender Recognition Act or the Equality Act. In fact, it is concerned to ensure that the existing rights enshrined in these Acts are protected. The group was set up to discuss the potential impact of proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act on existing protections, particularly the effect on women’s sex-based protections under the Equality Act 2010.
Feminists’ attempts to discuss the proposed legislative changes have been met with attempts to shut meetings down by some trans activists, who characterize debate about how legislative change might be established in ways which could uphold both the sex-based rights of women and the rights of trans people as illegitimate, and inherently “transphobic.” We support the right of peaceful protest, but do not support any group which uses physical intimidation to try to silence those with whom it disagrees.

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