Apr 6, 2022 - World

Boris Johnson opposes trans women competing in women's sports

Picture of Boris Johnson

Photo: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that he does not believe transgender women should be able to compete in women's sports.

Driving the news: "Maybe that's a controversial thing, but it just seems to be sensible," Johnson said.

Between the lines: The idea that it's unfair for cisgender women and girls to compete against trans athletes who were assigned male at birth has taken hold in conservative circles in the U.S. and abroad.

What he's saying: "I also happen to think that women should have spaces ... which are dedicated to women. That's as far as my thinking has developed on this issue. If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we got to work it all out," Johnson said.

  • "That doesn't mean that I'm not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition, and it's vital that we give people the maximum possible love and support in making those decisions, but these are complex issues."

The big picture: Johnson's comments come shortly after the U.K. stripped out protections for transgender people from a proposed law to ban conversion therapy, which is therapy that aims to push people toward heterosexuality and traditional gender identities.

  • It also comes amid a push in a number of U.S. states to prevent transgender youth from playing on sports teams or being able to access affirming health care.
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