A Christian group has come out against London’s decision to make all of its public transport gender-neutral.
Workers have been instructed to replace the phrase “good morning ladies and gentlemen” with “good morning everyone” when talking to passengers.
New versions of pre-recorded announcements will also be created for Transport for London services, including the Underground and Overground, after London Mayor Sadiq Khan considered the policy in December.
The move was welcomed by various LGBT groups, after months of campaigning over the issue.
But not everyone is happy.
The Coalition For Marriage, a homophobic group whose existence is based solely on their attempts to deny LGB people the right to marry, has voiced its objections.
Colin Hart, director of the organisation, said he was against the move because of its cost.
“Re-recording TfL’s announcements to remove gender is a total waste of public money,” he said.
Gender-neutral messages do not remove or abolish gender – but you knew that already.
He continued: “Only ideological extremists could think that there was something offensive about the idea that the public comprises men and women.”
Gender is a spectrum, and many people identify as non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer, or another similar term.
Hart added: “There is nothing offensive about the term ‘ladies and gentlemen’ – it is simply good manners.”
It is of course possible to be polite and respectful of other people’s identities, which Hart did not seem to acknowledge.
The campaign director also baselessly accused Mayor of London Sadiq Khan of pushing an agenda which the public did not back.
There is no proof of this.
“The Mayor of London should recognise real diversity of opinion and stop using his position to push extreme gender ideology down the throats of the public,” Hart said.
Speaking after the announcement, TfL’s customer strategy head Mark Evers said the organisation wanted “everyone to feel welcome on our transport network.
“We have reviewed the language that we use in announcements and elsewhere and will make sure that it is fully inclusive, reflecting the great diversity of London,” he added.
And a spokesman for Stonewall welcomed the news that the world’s first rapid transit system will say good morning to everyone, not just the extremes of an outdated gender binary.
He said: “Language is extremely important to the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community, and the way we use it can help ensure all people feel included.
“We welcome gender neutral announcements to be rolled out across TfL, as it will ensure that everyone – no matter who they identify as – feels accounted for.”
But you can never please everyone, it seems.