LGBTQ+ charities appeal against LGB Alliance's charity status

LGBTQ+ charities and organisations, including Mermaids and Stonewall have appealed against the decision to give LGB Alliance charitable status.

The Charity Commission gave charitable status to the LGB Alliance last month, but was met with more than 100 complaints.

The organisation told the regulator its purpose is to promote equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, however LGBTQ+ groups argue its real purpose is the 'denigration of trans people and the destruction of organisations that support them'.

"The Charity Commission’s decision to give the controversial LGB Alliance charitable status has been met with disbelief and sorrow by LGBTQ+ people across the UK. We have now lodged an appeal against that decision, supported by LGBT+ Consortium, Gendered Intelligence, LGBT Foundation and TransActual. The appeal is being crowdfunded by Good Law Project," the group said in a statement.

"To be registered as a charity, an organisation must be established exclusively for charitable purposes, as recognised in law, and it must pursue them in a way which gives rise to tangible benefits that outweigh any associated harms.

"The LGB Alliance’s real purpose is the denigration of trans people and the destruction of organisations that support them, in particular through political lobbying and campaigning for changes to the law. These are not charitable purposes for the public benefit; they are political objectives designed to roll back legal protections for trans people."

The appeal, which has already raised thousands of pounds, has received widespread support from the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBT+ Consortium CEO, Paul Roberts said: “Charity status is hard earned and should promote positive and inclusive change for those most marginalised in our communities.

"The decision to register LGB Alliance goes in the face of that and sows distrust in what it means to hold charitable status. They exist to oppose free, safe and empowered trans lives and, as LGBT+ organisations, we stand as one to ask the Tribunal to quash the Charity Commission’s decision. We are with Mermaids every step of the way and will always stand up for an LGBT+ charity sector that puts positive public benefit first.”

In a statement on its website, LGB Alliance denies it is an “anti-trans” group, stating: “We fully support trans people in their struggle, for dignity, respect and a life lived free from bigotry and fear."

However, in a speech made last year, the organisation's director, Bev Jackson, said: “We’re applying for charitable status and building an organisation to challenge the dominance of those who promote the damaging theory of gender identity.”

Responding to the appeal, LGB Alliance's co-founder, Kate Harris, said the organisation has 'confidence' in the Charity Commission.

“It is disappointing to see well-funded groups with a joint annual income of £13.5m try to remove our charitable status.”

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