Crowdfunder to appeal charity status of LGB Alliance stands at over £50,000

A crowdfunder, set up earlier this week to appeal the Charity Commission’s decision to award charity status to the LGB Alliance, has now raised more than £50,000.

A number of LGBTQ+ charities announced that they had joined forces to appeal the decision.

The appeal is led by Mermaids, and supported by LGBT+ Consortium, Gendered Intelligence, LGBT Foundation, TransActual, and Good Law Project.

LGB Alliance was formed in late 2019, and as part of its vision states that “our rights, culture, and history are now under threat from new ideologies conflating biological sex with the notion of gender identity”. In its full decision to register the LGB Alliance as a charity, the Commission noted that its language in the past has been considered “inflammatory”.

Fundraising

The crowdfunder to appeal the Commission’s decision to award charity status to the LGB Alliance has raised over £50,000 from more than 2,000 pledges since Tuesday.

Susie Green, chief executive of Mermaids said: “Mermaids supports trans young people, children and their families who face overwhelming hostility simply because of who they are. The LGB Alliance wants to divide the LGBTQ+ community in an attempt to undermine and isolate trans people, even children.

“Pride has always been about confronting prejudice and oppression, and this year, Mermaids is proud to stand up for the rights of trans people in court, with the unbreakable support of our LGBTQ+ charity family.”

Jo Maugham, of the Good Law Project, added that “charitable status is for those who serve the public good” and “denigrating trans people, attacking those who speak for them, and campaigning to remove legal protections from them is the very opposite of a public good”.

“We do not believe they meet the threshold tests to be registered as a charity,” Maugham added.

LGB Alliance: We have confidence in the regulator

Kate Harris, director at the LGB Alliance, said: “It is disappointing to see well-funded groups with a joint annual income of £13.5m 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.

“LGB Alliance has confidence in the Charity Commission.”

Stonewall hits back at Diversity Champions programme critique

This week Stonewall has criticised “attacks” to its Diversity Champions programme, claiming that the attacks attempt “to undermine support for programmes and initiatives that promote trans inclusion”.

On Monday, equalities minister Liz Truss reportedly urged government departments to withdraw from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions employment scheme.

Several organisations, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the employment dispute service Acas, have already withdrawn “for cost reasons”.

Other bodies, such as the House of Commons and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, have also withdrawn.

Stonewall said in a statement: “Over the last few months there has been a sustained attack on Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, which proudly partners with more than 850 leading employers to support their LGBTQ+ colleagues to thrive.

“We believe these attacks are threadbare and deliberately organised and coordinated to undermine support for our work to ensure every LGBTQ+ employee can thrive at work.”

The charity has said its programme continues to grow, and that between 1 June 2020 to 1 June 2021 its membership grew by 30 organisations.

The statement adds that Stonewall is “absolutely not” trying to silence free speech through its Diversity Champions programme, and it is “simply a tool to help employers to embed LGBTQ+ inclusion across their organisations”.

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