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Shadow minister clarifies claim that babies have no biological sex

April 2020

Dawn Butler
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The Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary has clarified remarks she made on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, when she asserted that babies are born without a biological sex.

Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, was speaking to presenter Richard Madeley on the popular TV show. She was being questioned over the Labour Party’s attitude towards those who question transgender ideology.

During the conversation, she claimed there was no biological gender at birth, and said a child was born without sex ‘in the beginning’.

She later confirmed in an interview with Pink News she had meant to state that, when doctors tell the parents, ‘congratulations, it’s a girl or boy’, that ‘it’s not a given; there are a lot of people who identify as non-binary’.

During the Good Morning interview, Mr Madeley accused Labour of shutting down debate about sex and gender, after two leadership candidates backed calls to expel from the party anyone who questions transgender ideology.

He also asked Butler if she considered people to be ‘transphobic’ if they believe there is a biological difference between men who say they are women, even if they have not had surgery, and true females.

She said, ‘What we can’t have is transphobia, we can’t have people who are transphobic. If you’re saying that a trans woman isn’t a woman, then there are issues around that.’

When Madeley asked: ‘When a child is born, they are identified and observed in a particular sex, aren’t they?’ She responded, ‘A child is born without sex, a child is formed without sex in the beginning.’

She concluded by suggesting that those who don’t agree are making trans people unsafe and contributing to hate crime.