High-profile appeal against anti-trans LGB Alliance’s charity status inches closer to courtroom
A high-profile appeal against the Charity Commission’s decision to register the LGB Alliance as a charity is expected to go to trial in 2022.
Trans youth charity Mermaids announced in June that it was appealing the decision to give the anti-trans pressure group charitable status. The appeal is being supported by the Good Law Project and the LGBT+ Consortium alongside LGBT+ groups Gendered Intelligence, Trans Actual and the LGBT Foundation.
Mermaids said on Thursday (30 September) that a timetable to trial has now been set out in the appeal. The LGB Alliance has been named as a respondent in the appeal alongside the charity commission, and a hearing will take place between March and May 2022 – although a final date has not yet been set.
Since its launch in October 2019, the LGB Alliance – which denies it is transphobic – has been branded a “hate group” by high-profile LGBT+ figures and organisations, including Pride in London, gay SNP MP John Nicolson, the LGBT+ Lib Dems, journalist Owen Jones and gay Scottish actor David Paisley.
The Charity Commission faced a wave of criticism when it announced in April that it had agreed to register the LGB Alliance as a charity in England and Wales.
In a written appeal against the decision, Mermaids said the LGB Alliance should never have been registered as a charity in the first place as it is “not a charity”.
According to Mermaids’ appeal, the LGB Alliance holds the belief that people should be “described and treated in accordance with their ‘biological sex'” even when their gender identity differs.
The trans youth charity also said the LGB Alliance wants transgender people to be “excluded from gay, lesbian and bisexual communities and charities on the purported basis that they are not ‘same-sex attracted'”.
LGB Alliance offers ‘no positive benefit to the public’, Mermaids says
Furthermore, Mermaids stated that the LGB Alliance has “repeatedly targeted” other registered charities – including Mermaids, Stonewall and GIRES – by accusing them of “extremism and homophobia” and of “endangering children”.
Mermaids has argued that the LGB Alliance should never have been given charitable status because it offers “no positive benefit to the public”. In fact, the charity said that the LGB Alliance “gives rise to significant dis-benefits, including encouraging discrimination against transgender people”.
In a statement, Lui Asquith, director of legal and policy at Mermaids, said: “Young trans people and children are facing unprecedented scrutiny and scepticism. Much of it is and has been fuelled by an anti-gender movement that is weeping around the globe, which has money and a platform and insists on pushing an erroneous hierarchy of rights.
“By its nature it rejects the rights – and in some cases, existence – of trans people.
“LGB Alliance purports to be an organisation that supports lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but it doesn’t. Many trans people are LGB and LGB Alliance actively works to oppose the advancement of rights of trans individuals.”
Asquith said the LGB Alliance “pushes transphobic messages” and contributes to a “horrendous cultivation of fear-mongering in respect of trans people in this country as well as creating a harmful and incorrect idea that cis-women’s rights are at odds with trans people”.
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“Mermaids, together with LGBT+ organisations, believe it is not fair on the public to have their donations used to carry out such cruel work – many people who donate to them may not even know their anti-trans rights activity. They are saying one thing and doing another. That isn’t fair.
“It is our view that their work is not only actively hurting LGBT+ people, but people as a whole. Biological essentialism limits everyone – it demands social expectations and denies the freedom to be who you are.
“We are taking this action to ensure we do not regress as a country – make no mistake, the LGBA registration was a regression – and we are taking this action to show that the LGBT+ community will not be divided.
The appeal is currently being crowdfunded by the Good Law Project, an organisation that uses the law to achieve a better world. £65,000 has already been pledged with a goal of raising £80,000.
PinkNews has contacted the LGB Alliance for comment.