Sex in the Equality Act: the Westminster Hall debate – webinar

Sex in the Equality Act: the Westminster Hall debate A Sex Matters webinar

On 8th June 2023, Helen Joyce talked to academic Michael Foran and barrister Naomi Cunningham on about the upcoming Westminster Hall debate on clarifying the Equality Act.

Among the questions discussed:

  • What is the policy problem this proposal aims to solve?
  • If our proposal becomes law (whether with our suggested wording or an alternative), what, in practical terms, is likely to change?
  • Our petition is being debated at the same time as a rival petition which calls on the government not to amend the definition of sex in the Equality Act. What are the best arguments put forward by opponents of clarity?
  • What, if anything, does the definition of sex in the Equality Act have to do with “gender self-identification”?

Watch the recording

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To learn more about the details of our proposal and the thinking behind it, you can re-watch our webinar from 30th March:

– and read our answers to frequently asked questions about sex in the Equality Act.

Campaign blog posts

We will be publishing regular blogs every day from now until 12th June, addressing different questions and issues around our proposed amendment to the Equality Act.

Here are the first four:

We’ve also published a new blogpost by barrister Naomi Cunningham: What does a GRC do?

Bookmark this page to see the latest posts about the debate.

About the speakers

Michael Foran

Michael Foran is a lecturer in public law at the University of Glasgow. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. His thesis Equality Before the Law won the prestigious Yorke Prize and will be published this year. He specialises in constitutional and equality law.

His recent article for Scottish Legal News looks at the issue in light of the For Women Scotland appeal and the GRR (Scotland) Bill and S.35 order – both cases that are due to come to court.  

Naomi Cunningham is a barrister specialising in employment and discrimination law. She was instructed in Fair Play for Women’s challenge to the ONS guidance on the sex question in the 2021 census. She is part of the lawyers’ collective Legal Feminist; she has written about sex and gender in sport, personal care, security staff guidance, and puberty blockers and parental consent. In February 2021 she gave evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee on behalf of Legal Feminist. She is chair of the Sex Matters board.

Her most recent blog post asks: What does a GRC do?

Helen Joyce is a journalist and author of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, an Amazon top ten bestseller, and Times of London and Spectator book of the year. She was a staff journalist at The Economist between 2005 and 2022, holding several senior positions, including International editor, Finance editor and Britain editor. She is director of advocacy for Sex Matters. Her newsletter can be found at

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