The Scottish Labor leader has said “you can’t argue with biology” when asked whether a woman can possess a penis – days after Keir Starmer declined to answer a similar question about the transgender debate.
Anas Sarwar made the comments while Labor is still divided on how a woman should be defined.
He added: ‘We also have to accept that transphobia is real. And I don’t think this attempt by some people, a minority, to turn community against community is the way to get an answer to this.’
It comes after Starmer declined to say whether a woman can have a penis during a debate over trans rights last month, The Telegraph reports.
Starmer, who appeared on LBC radio for his landline calls, was asked about trans athletes and the success of Lia Thomas, a trans woman who won the 500-yard freestyle title at the NCAA women’s championships.
Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar (pictured) has said ‘you can’t argue with biology’ when asked if a woman can possess a penis
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer (left) and Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar during a visit to Glasgow Perthshire football club on Tuesday
Rosie Duffield, the Labor MP for Canterbury, says her party still has a ‘confused’ stance on the transgender debate
The win has sparked a debate over trans athletes participating in competitive sports, with critics arguing that they may have an advantage over other participants.
But Starmer said it’s up to “sports organizations to decide for themselves” who can and cannot be involved in events.
When asked if a woman is allowed to have a penis, Starmer said, “I’m not… I don’t think we can have this debate with… I don’t think discussing this issue in this way will make anyone in the long run.” term.’
Rosie Duffield, the Labor MP for Canterbury, has also told the BBC that her party still has a ‘confused’ stance on the transgender debate.
She came under fire for her opposition to “biological males with male bodies” being allowed to identify themselves as women to gain access to women-only spaces, such as prisons and domestic violence shelters.
Ms Duffield chose not to attend the Labor Party conference in September after receiving threats and being labeled a transphobic, which she denies.
Starmer later said the Kent MP had been wrong in saying that “only women have a cervix.”
Harry Potter author JK Rowling – who spoke out about her views on transgender and biological sex – said earlier this month that the Labor leader could no longer be counted on to defend women’s rights.
It came after Starmer told The Times that “trans women are women” under the law in the UK, calling for a more “thoughtful, respectful, tolerant debate” on gender.
He insisted he and his party have been defending women’s rights for “a long, long time.”
Labor frontbenchers Yvette Cooper and Anneliese Dodds both struggled to answer questions about the issue last month.
Meanwhile, No. 10 said Boris Johnson believes transgender people should be treated with “maximum possible generosity and respect.”
The prime minister has “a very clear position” on trans rights, his official spokesman said.