She said she was “concerned” and took the matter seriously, agreeing that gender-critical beliefs were protected under the Equality Act 2010 and should be respected.
She suggested that upcoming Civil Service impartiality guidance would “provide greater clarity” and ensure that diversity and inclusion training was not biased.
A government source said that Ms Ryland met with signatories of the letter after it was sent and the Government’s impartiality guidance focusing on the contentious training and policy for civil servants was being prepared and is expected to be published by the end of this year.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The Cabinet Secretary and senior Civil Service leaders take the issues raised in the letter seriously.
“Our response outlines how the concerns that staff raised are being addressed, including through updated Impartiality Guidance.
“It also says that it is important that civil servants recognise the diversity of opinion on these issues.”
‘I’m in a silent majority bullied into acceptance’
I work as a civil servant for a major government department and I am part of what I believe is a silent majority being bullied into accepting the wholesale adoption of gender identity ideology.
Freedom of speech does not exist for anyone whose personal or religious beliefs clash with the official version of reality, or for women who might have been victims of sexual assault and object to sharing women-only spaces with biological males.
Instead, those who exercise their legally protected right to gender-critical views – the belief you cannot change your biological sex – are: accused of bigotry and hate; compared to racists; and harassed or actively silenced, usually by having their views ignored.
Having started through staff networks, which are diversity groups set up by civil servants, and HR, gender ideology has become embedded right across the Civil Service with the connivance or cowardice of senior leaders who seem genuinely scared of this issue.
Even the Women’s Network has been replaced by the “Gender Equality Network” which promotes the notion that our biological sex is an “identity” rather than an immutable characteristic.
The result for the country at large is that impartiality and objectivity – both core Civil Service values – are being lost, and in their place is one side of a heavily contested social and political issue that is presented as fact.
Accusations of misgendering
If a complaint is made to articulate a concern about the inclusion of men in groups that relate specifically to female biology – such as the menopause – the complainant is dismissed as failing to understand diversity and inclusion, accused of misgendering, encouraged to educate themselves by reading approved policies or will even receive veiled threats that they will be reported to their manager.
Senior civil servants say nothing to challenge the bizarre and offensive ideas that are presented as fact. My guess is that they are as intimidated as everyone else from expressing a heretical viewpoint.
One document aimed at educating civil servants on how to support transgender staff says: “Part of gender transition is living in the gender with which a person identifies. This includes using the facilities they feel are right for them, such as toilets and changing rooms.”
There is no recognition, let alone organisational support, for any woman who may simply want privacy from the opposite sex, or who may as a requirement of her religion be required to use separate facilities from men, or who may have experienced sexual violence.
The Civil Service makes it plain there is a hierarchy of rights and that gender identity trumps both sex and faith and belief.