Standing

Barrister Dennis Kavanagh at Lesbian and Gay News reports on the kimono guy’s lawsuit against the LGB Alliance:

The public campaign against the LGB Alliance by established trans-focused charities Stonewall and Mermaids escalated into litigation today with an appeal against the Charity Commission’s decision to award the LGBA charitable status (available here). This follows ferocious objections from the groups to the initial application for registration and a campaign of well publicised subsequent complaints to the commission itself by supporters of both charities, (many of which were dismissed as “emotional”). It seems then that 2021 Pride month will set the stage for an extraordinary legal spectacle of large, multi-million pound trans focused charities seeking to silence and effectively destroy a lesbian/gay/bisexual focused one. 

The appeal itself is crowdfunded by and appears to be promoted by the non for-profit company “The Good Law Project” but the grounds of appeal themselves name the charity Mermaids as the entity actually appealing the decision. Passing reference is also made to Stonewall who, following a week of high profile exits from its diversity scheme, make complaint that the LGBA is undermining that scheme.

Nah, Stonewall, you did that yourselves. It was you, Charlie.

Kavanagh says Mermaids may have trouble establishing standing, in which case the suit will be dismissed without getting to make its arguments. (Basically: this is none of your business anyway so your arguments are beside the point.)

The grounds themselves rehearse a number of complaints already dealt with by the Charity Commission and so the appeal, to some extent, represents an attempt at having a second bite of the cherry. Perhaps most strikingly, the grounds appear to claim that anything other than complete agreement with the gender identity position is in and of itself a de facto attack on trans focused charities. The grounds specifically complain that Bev Jackson said in March 2020 “We’re applying for charitable status and building an organisation to challenge the dominance of those who promote the damaging theory of gender identity”. The complaint that this speech is enough to make good the objection may be extremely difficult to establish in law given recent the statements by EHRC chair, Baroness Falkner to the effect that a gender critical position is a protected characteristic and the fact the body recently intervened in the Maya Forstater Appeal Case to protect extremely similar speech and thought.

Let’s hope so. Let’s hope we get to retain the right to say that only women are women.

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