According to Mermaids, a gay rights organization was founded to oppose the rights of transgender persons.
On Friday, a court will review an appeal filed by the transgender rights organization Mermaids challenging the Charity Commission’s decision to provide charitable status to the newly formed LGB Alliance. It is the first time a charity has tried denying another’s legal recognition.
The highly unusual hearing will bring to the forefront the controversial debates around gender identity, sex, and the legal definitions of same-sex attraction and sexual orientation.
The Charity Commission denied the LGB Alliance’s charitable status, prompting Mermaids, an organization that assists transgender, nonbinary, and gender-varied children and their families, to file a complaint. It was stated that the group’s primary purpose was to influence the government to limit the legal rights granted to transgender persons.
The General Regulatory Chamber hearing will require the court to assess whether the goal of LGB Alliance is “exclusively philanthropic for the public benefit.” Typically, charity Commission decisions are challenged by claims of financial abuse or mismanagement.
Lawyers will also be forced to consider the charity’s opposing world views after they submit preliminary legal paperwork.
Suppose the court concludes that the Charity Commission erred in granting the LGB Alliance charitable status. In that case, the decision may have repercussions for other charities and make them more susceptible to legal challenges from organizations with opposing ideologies.
The LGB Alliance’s stance that there are only two sexes and that gender is a social construct will be pitted against Mermaids’ viewpoint that the court should recognize transgender people’s gender identification in the legal discussion.
Mermaids referenced a statement given by Kate Harris, one of the LGB Alliance’s founders, in which she and other group members were “creating an organization to oppose the supremacy of individuals who propagate the harmful ideology of gender identity.”
In addition, according to Mermaids’ legal documents, LGB Alliance has lobbied against offering advice on transgender rights to schools and other governmental entities.
According to the LGB Alliance’s website, it rejects gender identity theory. It thinks it harms gay men and lesbians and young people unsure of their sexual orientation.
In the intricate and changing world of LGBTQ+ rights, the LGB Alliance was founded in 2019 as a result of a shift in focus by Stonewall, which in 2015 transitioned from being the largest lesbian, gay, and bisexual charity in the UK to a group that now advocated for the rights of trans people.
According to LGB Alliance, challenges faced by “those who are attracted to the same sex” (homosexual/bisexual) are distinct from those experienced by transgender persons.
In its preliminary submissions, LGB Alliance outlines its position that same-sex attraction should be defined by biological sex and not by gender identity. This is when many mainstream charities have changed their definition of same-sex attraction based on attraction to someone’s gender or gender identity rather than their biological sex. It claims that one of the reasons it was formed was to debunk the myth that homophobic Stonewall detractors were behind it.
It advocates against medicalizing gender nonconforming children and adolescents and asserts that it thinks the urge to change gender may be a reaction to homophobia among parents or peer groups. It also expresses worry about the usage of puberty blockers.
“LGB Alliance is the only registered charity in the UK that solely assists lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals,” the LGB Alliance stated in a statement. The registration of another charity has never been contested in court by a registered charity before.
In a news release, Mermaids stated that the LGB Alliance’s true goal was “the denigration of trans people and the destruction of organizations that assist them, mainly through political lobbying and campaigning for changes to the law. These political goals are intended to weaken legal rights for transgender persons, not for charitable or public good motives.
Mermaids and the major LGBTQ+ charities and organizations in the nation speak with one voice on behalf of one community when they declare that they will not be split, the statement continued. LGB Alliance asserts that they represent a diverse viewpoint and that there is no uniformity of attitude.
Before deciding to grant charitable status to LGB Alliance last year, the Charity Commission took reservations about the organization into account. Nevertheless, it was determined that LGB Alliance had been founded for “exclusively philanthropic reasons” and would endeavor to advance the abolition of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
As a result, it was determined that “supporting the equality and human rights of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals is not intrinsically discriminatory and do not inevitably have the consequence of restricting the rights of transgender people.” It was mentioned that disagreement does not equate to hatred, according to the charity’s website.
The Good Law Project, like LGB Alliance, has started a crowdfunding drive to pay for legal fees and is supporting Mermaids’ initiative.
The Good Law Project’s director, Jo Maugham, stated: “Charitable status is for people who serve the public good… We don’t think they pass the minimum requirements to be recognized as a charity.
The hearings are anticipated to be over by the end of the next week, after which the judge will issue a new decision about the charitable status of LGB Alliance.