The Countess have received a number of emails regarding the LGFA response to queries relating to its new Transgender Policy. The LGFA response is wholly inadequate and does not address any of the concerns raised about this policy, in particular safety, fairness and dignity for women and girls.
Male inclusion means female exclusion, as women and girls lose places on teams to bigger, stronger males; girls are moved to sports where their safety and rights are protected; and women and girls who do not wish to share intimate spaces with males self-exclude.
The Equal Status Act, 2000 section 5 (2) (f) allows for same-sex provision in sport; other Irish sports are divided by sex with no legal implications so far, including IRFU and Boxing. These organisations rightly place safety and fairness for women and girls above all other considerations.
International experts agree that males have a physical advantage over females that is not changed by testosterone suppression. World Rugby found unacceptable risks when males are allowed to play against females.
The LGFA says the policy was debated at Council before ratification, but the policy was not supplied to Clubs in advance so that it could be properly examined and county delegates instructed. We know that LGFA did not consult with Clubs or the Gaelic Players Association. For such a major change to the organisation, such lack of consultation is unacceptable.
The “thorough and comprehensive assessment process” is based on a single outdated metric and a GP letter or GRC for over 16s. No metric at all is required for 12-15 year olds. The “unacceptable risk” is not defined, nor is any process by which opposing teams or match officials can raise concerns on the day of a match.
The Policy and subsequent response from LGFA demonstrate that it does not consider the wellbeing of women and girls playing in the sport to be as important as the inclusion of males. This policy must be reversed before any harm comes to girls and women.
We call on all concerned parents, players, volunteers and officials to join our campaign to #SaveWomensSports and use the template below to write to LGFA. We have also developed a template response letter which can be found at the link below:
LGFA RESPONSE LETTER TEMPLATE