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Editorial: We failed in our duty to equality and liberation

THE Morning Star is firmly committed to equality for all. Tackling oppression and discrimination that exists in our economy and society is a priority and founding principle of our paper. 

Our diverse readership are a strong representation of the diversity within our communities and we let our readers down when we published a cartoon last week that did not uphold this commitment and this principle. 

We understand that trans people experience discrimination, harassment and threats to their safety and even lives on a daily basis and we are very sorry that the cartoon added to that. 

We apologise to our readers and the trans community unreservedly for the hurt and anger caused by the cartoon and we are taking immediate steps to ensure that this lapse of editorial control will not happen again. 

In our apology we confirmed that this cartoon was not authorised for publication, but we know that raises even bigger questions as to how it came to be published, and the management committee has commissioned an independent inquiry which will report on this and advise on action to prevent it ever happening again. 

We will also be reviewing our past coverage of this issue which has sometimes failed to reflect the priorities of our trans readers.

The Morning Star will renew our policy of reaching out to the trans community and become more inclusive. By working together to tackle the discrimination we all face, this paper believes that we will create a more tolerant, fairer society for all.

The Morning Star recognises that it has a responsibility to oppose discrimination against the trans community and to tackle transphobic hate crime, as well as to promote positive action and reform of the Gender Recognition Act to ensure trans people are able to participate equally in our workplaces, our communities, and our movement. 

The Morning Star also recognises that sex discrimination at work arises from deeply ingrained patriarchal and systemic oppression of women and that we will continue to campaign against gender stereotyping, gender occupational segregation, violence, harassment and pay discrimination.

The Morning Star believes in the principle of self-determination and empowerment through collective action as the route to tackling the discrimination that working-class people face. 

We believe that by working together and tackling discrimination and oppression faced by our readers we improve the working conditions of all workers.  

We recognise that many of the issues we face are intersectional and at the same time we reject the notion of hierarchy of oppression.

We do not accept that reform of the Gender Recognition Act should or would lead to an attack on women-only spaces and will ensure that we campaign against any attacks on the Equality Act. 

We understand that trans women are often welcomed into all-women spaces in our communities, and to portray trans women as a violent threat to women is a wholly unacceptable misrepresentation. 

The Morning Star supports women-only spaces in addition to gender neutral spaces and is particularly concerned that our trans readers should be protected the from harassment and violence they face from the lack of gender neutral space. 

We will work to oppose division between the women’s movement and the LGBT+ movement and heal the divisions that have emerged through the framing of this debate.

Respect and tolerance are crucial, and we oppose all hate crime, bullying and harassment. 

We therefore oppose any construct of a debate which seeks to divide and set one group of workers against another and will ensure that this paper defends our communities against any homophobic, transphobic or sexist hate language or abuse. 

The Morning Star also believes that our readers have the right to freedom of speech and also have the right to disagree, but that does not mean a right to discriminate and cause hurt and distress to others.

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