Once upon a time an organisation was established to campaign for gay and lesbian rights. They faced opposition from the outset. They were widely condemned, even called out as a hate group when they talked about same-sex attraction. When they sought charitable status, a petition was launched, urging the Charities Commission to reject the application. Tens of thousands of people signed it.
But this was not the dark days of the 1980s, when Section 28 stopped councils and schools ‘promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’. This is now.
LGB Alliance was formed in 2019 to promote the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. It also sought to advance education and raise awareness in equality and diversity in respect of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Its founders Bev Jackson and Kate Harris were veteran lesbian campaigners. They were joined by filmmaker Malcolm Clark and barrister Allison Bailey, and supported by Simon Fanshawe, a founding member of Stonewall UK thirty years earlier. These are good people with noble aims.
Yet the Alliance’s application for charitable status in March 2020 provoked an outrageous petition. 40,000 people have put their names to the attempt to ‘Stop LGB Alliance Gaining Charity Status’.
There is no fire behind all that smoke, though; it is all hot air. The petition is nonsense. It says that ‘LGB Alliance believe(s) in the concept of ‘adult human female’ which disregards trans people.’ But isn’t ‘adult human female’ a concept that almost everyone outside the trans rights mob recognises?
Thankfully, the Charity Commission has seen sense. This week, it confirmed that the LGB Alliance should be entered on to the register of charities. The reaction from some of the usual suspects was apoplectic.