Members of ‘Mermaids’ have taken legal action against the LGB Alliance, accusing it of transphobia
The transgender youth charity ‘Mermaids’ has asked a UK tribunal to take away the charitable status of the LGB Alliance (LGBA) group, which promotes gay rights, insisting the organization is “merely a front for transphobia” and political campaigning for preventing changes to gender identification laws, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
The charity, which has already previously found itself in hot water for publicly rejecting the idea that people can change their gender, has in turn accused Mermaids of being “profoundly homophobic,” noting that the LGBA is the only organization in the UK that focuses exclusively on the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
The lawsuit was filed by the Good Law Project on behalf of several trans activist groups, including Mermaids – a charity that has aimed to change gender laws and add gender-neutral language to UK legislation.
The move came after the LGBA registered as a charity with the UK Charity Commission back in April 2021. The transgender youth activists claimed that the gay rights group did not provide a benefit to the public and existed only to “denigrate those who support trans people.”
Michael Gibbon KC, who represents Mermaids, told a UK court that the LGBA was seeking to undermine trans charities like Mermaids by suggesting they were spreading disinformation. He also argued that allowing LGBA to keep its charitable status could deprive trans groups of potential funding.
The LGBA has rejected the accusations and insists that Mermaids has no legal right to challenge the group’s existence, even if it disagrees with its values and beliefs.
Iain Steele KC, who represented the Charity Commission in this case, sided with the LGBA, stating that the commission was confident that the gay rights group was pursuing charitable activities when it registered last year and insisted that a disagreement between charities was not a valid reason to strip it of its status.
The judge presiding over the tribunal heard closing arguments for the case on Tuesday and is now expected to come back with a verdict, which may not be issued until next year.