The LGB Alliance was set up to “prevent the spread of gender identity lies”, a court was told on Wednesday, during a hearing on whether the Charity Commission was right to grant the body charity status.
Co-founder Kate Harris told a hearing that increasing discrimination against lesbians was another motivation for setting up the organization.
The General Chamber of Regulators is considering challenging transgender children’s charity Mermaids over the Charity Commission’s decision to grant charity status to the LGB Alliance last year.
The hearing considered whether advocating for transgender rights could lead to conflict with women’s rights or the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Michael Gibbon, KC for Mermaids, asked LGB Alliance co-founders Bev Jackson and Harris, both lesbians, on Wednesday whether the organization was primarily focused on an anti-trans political agenda and lobbying, or whether was created to undertake charitable activities in support of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Asked about the creation of the organization, Jackson said organizers were motivated in part by the change in definition of homosexuality adopted by Stonewall and other leading LGBT groups around 2015 from same-sex attraction to same-sex attraction.
He said the founders wanted to bring together “other LGBT people who agreed with our view that homosexuality was being redefined in a way that we found offensive.”
She said lesbians found redefinition particularly difficult, with some feeling they were no longer free to express same-sex attraction. pointed to the expulsion of lesbian activists from a pride march for claiming same-sex and not same-sex attraction.
The hearing spent some time looking at the concept of gender. “We objected to the idea that everyone has a gender identity. I don’t have a gender identity and I object to being told that I do,” Jackson said.
Gibbons asked Jackson about the “provocative and inflammatory” language used in tweets by the charity’s partners, including the use of the hashtags #endgayconversion and #transingthegayaway – referring to the LGB Alliance’s belief that gay children were being affected by messages on YouTube and on social media. thinking they were trans and then seeking treatment.
Jackson responded that the LGB Alliance used those hashtags to draw attention to their work. “Anti-lesbian prejudice and fear leads many teenagers, especially lesbians, to believe they have ‘gender identity’ issues when in fact they are struggling with their emerging lesbian/gay sexual orientation,” Jackson said in the deposition.
He said the organization believed the use of puberty blockers by gender identity development services (GIDS) for children “who might otherwise grow up to be gay adults” was “a huge medical scandal in the making”.
Co-founder Harris described gender identity as a “lie” during a speech given at the launch of LGB Alliance Scotland in 2020, the court heard, and dismissed it as “pseudoscience”. She said she had a “personal interest” in how the gender identity debate could affect children, describing how she was considered tomboyish by others as a child and put on boys’ sports teams at school.
She said she was “100% sure” that if she had been taught in sex education classes that everyone has a gender identity that could differ from the gender assigned at birth, she would have asked to be “fast-tracked on puberty blockers”. he insisted. for hormone therapy and undoubtedly ended up with surgery’, instead of ‘growing up to be a happy lesbian’.
In evidence released earlier this week, Dr Belinda Bell, chair of Mermaids commissioners, said it was unlikely to suggest that gay children would begin the difficult process of transitioning in response to homophobia and noted that the vast majority of transgender adults are not straight, so the transition process could not be accurately described as gay conversion.
“The LGB Alliance seems to take the view that transgender children do not exist or cannot know they are transgender before adulthood,” she said. “The LGB Alliance has repeatedly stated in public forums that Mermaids seeks to inappropriately push LGB children to identify as transgender. Such claims are false and harmful to the ongoing work of Mermaids.”