Director of Good Law Project Jolyon Maugham has put himself front-and-centre of a legal challenge against the registration of the LGB Alliance as a charity, reports Jo Bartosch.
The appeal is being brought by the controversial children’s charity Mermaids and is supported by LGBT+ Consortium, Gendered Intelligence, LGBT Foundation, TransActual and Good Law Project. Meanwhile the LGB Alliance has appointed five new trustees including one of Britain’s most successful female television executives, a much-admired Labour peer, and a leading feminist scholar who recently hit the headlines for defending free speech in universities.
The LGB Alliance stand accused by their detractors of: calling for a Parliamentary investigation into Mermaids; requesting that the EHRC open an investigation into Stonewall and seeking to ‘divert’ the funding currently given to existing LGBT charities. It seems calls for transparency and potential competition over funding are a threat to those intent on launching legal action.
Unfazed, LGB Alliance director Kate Harris told Lesbian and Gay News she has “confidence in the Charity Commission.”
When the LGB Alliance was granted charitable status in April this year it sent existing trans-focused charities into meltdown. In an unedifying display Stonewall, Mermaids and the LGBT Foundation released statements condemning the decision by the Charity Commission. As part of terms of their registration, charities are expected to not denigrate one another’s work.
Without a hint of irony, the Good Law Project complained in their media release:
“Ever since it was established in 2019, LGB Alliance has repeatedly targeted registered LGBT rights charities including Mermaids, Stonewall, LGBT Foundation, GIRES and others. LGB Alliance has accused these organisations of extremism and homophobia, of spreading disinformation, of endangering children, and of campaigning against women’s and gay rights.”
Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids added: “The work of the LGB Alliance is clearly designed to divide the LGBTQ+ community in an attempt to undermine and isolate trans people. Mermaids is proud to stand up for the rights of trans people in court, with the unbreakable support of our LGBTQ+ charity family.”
Conspicuous by their absence in those lining-up to throw bricks at the LGB Alliance are Stonewall, presumably they have enough legal cases of their own to focus on.
As it stands, LGB Alliance is the only charity in the UK dedicated to furthering the interests of gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
LGB Alliance director Kate Harris told Lesbian and Gay News: “It is disappointing to see well-funded groups with a joint annual income of £13.5 million try to remove our charitable status.”
“LGB Alliance is a new charity run entirely by volunteers and funded by hundreds of individual donations. We are committed to advancing the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and are moving ahead with our important work.”
“It is disappointing to see well-funded groups with a joint annual income of £13.5 million try to remove our charitable status.”
To be registered as a charity, an organisation must be established exclusively for charitable purposes, as recognised in law. A 4000+ word legal statement that accompanied the decision to register LGB Alliance found the organisation to be “charitable and beneficial to the public.”
The campaign against the registration of the LGB Alliance as a charity is the latest in a near constant stream of distortions, slurs and outright lies thrown at the organisation. In spite of this, the LGB Alliance are growing and putting down roots.
Today the LGB Alliance announced that they have recruited of five new trustees drawn from “from broadcasting, academia, Parliament and business.”
The new trustees are TV executive Eileen Gallagher OBE, Founder and former CEO of Shed Media Group which was responsible for Bad Girls and Footballers’ Wives; strategy consultant Conrad Roeber who was the primary author of IPSO’s recent report into the treatment of transgender-related issues by the UK press; Kathleen Stock OBE who is Professor of Philosophy at Sussex University and author of recently published Material Girls; Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law at King’s College London and a signatory of the 2007 Yogyakarta Principles (but who is now critical of Principles 3 and 31) and Lord Young of Norwood Green, a Labour Party life peer who was former General Secretary of the National Communications Union and a former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and later at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
Kate Harris told Lesbian and Gay News: “Our new trustees will help accelerate our plans to fill the void that has been left. In particular we need to offer services for young LGB people where there are none today.
“It is also extremely important to revive LGB culture, which can really energize and inspire. As we enter Gay Pride month we want to say how proud we are of all our LGB, trans and straight supporters, without whom we would not be where we are today.”
“We are entering a very exciting phase and we look forward to working with Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch and politicians of all parties who wish to engage in evidence-based policymaking and open dialogue.”