Scottish Tory leader admits he confused gender and sex after saying trans women were not women

Douglas Ross was discussing the Scottish Conservative Party’s local election manifesto pledge, ensuring single-sex toilets in council buildings

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Douglas Ross has expanded on his response to a question on his attitude towards trans women and said he confused gender and sex when saying trans women were not women.

The leader of the Scottish Conservative Party was asked if trans women were women and responded: “No… she is a female. Sorry, she is a male who has changed her sex but has not changed her gender."

Mr. Ross was discussing the Scottish Conservative Party’s local election manifesto pledge, ensuring single-sex toilets in council buildings.

Mr. Ross was discussing the Scottish Conservative Party’s local election manifesto pledge, ensuring single-sex toilets in council buildings.
Mr. Ross was discussing the Scottish Conservative Party’s local election manifesto pledge, ensuring single-sex toilets in council buildings.

The comments received backlash on social media with The Equality Network quote tweeting the video in which Mr Ross makes the comments.

They responded saying: “Sadly Douglas Ross is woefully misinformed and confused on this subject, and is proposing an unlawful policy.

“It is unlawful under the Equality Act for public services to have a blanket policy of excluding trans people from services that match their lived sex.

“The proposal also shows no consideration at all for trans people, or for the experiences of those who have been successfully running trans-inclusive single-sex services for years.

“Difficult not to conclude that this is simply attempting to gain votes from a 'culture war.'”

Mr Ross later clarified his comments, explaining that he had confused gender and sex.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland: “People can change their gender, they cannot change their sex.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross in Davidson Mains, Edinburgh, on the campaign trail for Scottish Conservatives ahead of the local government elections
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross in Davidson Mains, Edinburgh, on the campaign trail for Scottish Conservatives ahead of the local government elections

“They’re biologically born male or female but there are options to have gender-neutral changing rooms and toilets.

“Indeed, in the Highland area I cover there were proposals for schools to have all gender-neutral toilets but parents and pupils raised concerns and they’ve now gone back to the drawing board.

“There will be male changing rooms, female changing rooms and there will be gender-neutral changing rooms."