LGBT+ non-profits have hit out at the Charity Commission’s “reckless and damaging” decision to recognise the LGB Alliance, a notorious anti-trans pressure group.
The Charity Commission confirmed on Tuesday (20 April) that it had approved the LGB Alliance for entry onto its register of public charities in England and Wales, despite the fact that it has been described as a hate group by numerous LGBT+ organisations and individuals, including Pride in London, gay SNP MP John Nicolson, the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights and Owen Jones.
A number of high-profile LGBT+ organisations lambasted the Charity Commission for registering the LGB Alliance. Mermaids, a charity that works with trans youth, said it is “deeply disturbed” by the commission’s decision.
“‘Charity’ should be a shared badge of honour worn with pride by organisations seeking to empower rather than demonise those in need,” Mermaids said in a statement.
“Giving a divisive and polarising anti-trans campaign group such as the LGB Alliance a supposed mark of legitimacy brings into question the Charity Commission’s processes.”
The organisation continued: “We strongly challenged the suggestion that the LGB Alliance stands for the promotion of equality, diversity and human rights when it actively seeks to exclude transgender and gender-diverse people from the LGBTQ+ movement.
“We consider this decision by the Charity Commission to be a reckless and damaging act of betrayal to transgender and gender-diverse people and our allies.”
LGBT+ charity Stonewall said it was “upsetting” to see the LGB Alliance given charitable status when the organisation was “founded to oppose our work towards trans rights”.
However, Stonewall also pointed out that the LGB Alliance will now be “held accountable” for its actions by the Charity Commission, meaning members of the group won’t be able to “demean” others.
LGBT+ groups stand with trans community as LGB Alliance is registered as a charity
The LGBT Foundation, a Manchester-based organisation, said it was “shocked” by the Charity Commission’s decision to register the LGB Alliance.
“We are shocked that the Charity Commission has registered the self-styled LGB Alliance as we do not believe that any organisation which actively targets and campaigns against trans communities should be granted charitable status,” the group said.
The LGBT Foundation said it will be raising its concerns “urgently” with the commission, adding that the decision has “caused a lot of pain for trans and non-binary people”.
“To our trans and non-binary siblings – do not let days like today make you feel that you are alone. There are hundreds of thousands of cisgender lesbian, gay and bi allies by your side. Be secure in the knowledge that you are loved, you are accepted, and we will always be there for you and with you.”
The LGBT Foundation added: “Trans and non-binary rights do not come at the expense of rights for anybody else. The progress we have made for LGBT equality in recent decades is a direct result of communities coming together. We have a proud and united history, just as we will have a proud and united future.”
In its decision to register the organisation, the Charity Commission noted that there were “a number of objections”.
However, the commission said it “looked at whether LGB Alliance’s purpose inevitably involves the denigration of the rights of transgender people and considered that it did not.”
The commission said the LGB Alliance insists it “engages constructively and respectfully with representatives of the transgender community” and has trans supporters.
The decision to register the LGB Alliance as a charity comes just months after Ofcom boss Melanie Dawes told MPs that it was “entirely inappropriate” to quote the LGB Alliance on trans issues, saying it would be similar to quoting a racist organisation on race issues.
PinkNews has contacted the LGB Alliance and the Charity Commission for comment.