Thousands of people sign petition to stop ‘anti-trans’ group LGB Alliance receiving charitable status

GRA inquiry: Tell the women and equalities committee about trans equality

Thousands of people are calling on the Charity Commission not to give charitable status to the LGB Alliance for being a “transphobic hate group”.

In just three days, more than 13,000 people have signed the petition to stop the LGB Alliance gaining charity status.

The group, which launched in 2019 and promptly faced a blistering backlash from the wider LGBT+ community for its position on trans rights, strongly denies it is transphobic.

But the petition, signed by 13,400 people at time of writing, says that “many in the LGBT+ community agree they are a transphobic hate group”.

“LGB Alliance is a political campaign organisation, set up primarily to oppose trans rights and equality… LGB Alliance are not fit to be given charitable status,” the petition says.

The petition points to the fact that the LGB Alliance paid for Scottish newspaper adverts opposing reform of Scotland’s Gender Recognition Act (GRA).

The adverts appeared in The Herald (18 January) and Scotland on Sunday (19 January).

The LGB Alliance was later warned by the UK’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, over the “potentially misleading” claims it had made about Scotland’s proposals to update gender-recognition laws.

The petition comes as cis gay actor David Paisley, a Scottish trans ally who recently promised to send nudes to all those who filled out Scotland’s consultation on GRA reform, wrote a complaint to the JustGiving website for hosting the LGB Alliance’s fundraising page.

Paisley pointed out that JustGiving’s community guidelines say all fundraising campaigns must be “for good, for all and for the community”.

Scotland’s Gender Recognition Bill could – until coronavirus caused it to be put on hold – have modernised the process by which trans people update the legal gender on their birth certificates, a small step forward for trans rights.

But the LGB Alliance opposes any changes to gender-recognition laws because, it claims, reforms would “hurt women and girls” and “undermine” LGB rights – despite LGBT+ groups and women’s organisations in Scotland strongly supporting the proposed changes.

LGB Alliance co-founder Malcolm Clark suggested that the money raised on JustGiving was used to pay for newspaper adverts attempting to prevent GRA reform and would be again in future, telling supporters in a now-deleted March 7 tweet that if they “liked those ads and want more we’ll need a LOT more money. Please donate”, and sharing a link to the organisation’s JustGiving page.

LGB Alliance co-founder Malcolm Clark encourages supporters to donate to the JustGiving fundraiser for more ads like the ones paid for in Scottish newspapers. (Twitter/Screenshot)

Paisley told PinkNews that he’s been “a strong critic of the LGB Alliance since their inception, they particularly drew my attention when one of their directors, Malcolm Clark, spoke out against LGBT+ youth groups in schools“.

“The LGB Alliance falls far short of conducting any operations for the common good, they actively campaign against trans equality,” Paisley said.

“As an ally I can’t allow myself to be silent when I see a group of people being attacked and marginalised by a wealthy and well-organised campaign of disinformation.”

LGB Alliance newspaper adverts opposing reforms to Scotland’s gender-recognition laws. (Twitter/BluskyeAllison)

The actor has sent the letter to JustGiving and is waiting for a response.

He also warned that giving the group charitable status would “afford them credibility” and give them “access to funding sources” not currently available.

Since formation the LGB Alliance have focused primarily on campaigning against reform to the Gender Recognition Act. I’ve found no evidence that they have helped the LGBT+ community or conducted operations for public benefit,” the River City and former Holby star said.

Paisley, who is a passionate advocate for women’s rights, said that he agrees with feminist organisations like Sisters Scotland that feminism should be intersectional and that trans rights do not come at the expense of women or LGB people, as the LGB Alliance claims.

“LGBT+ people are well practiced at spotting intolerance and calling out hatred when they see it, we’ve heard many of the offensive anti-trans tropes before: they are sexual predators, they are perverts, they can’t be trusted in changing rooms, they are a danger to children,” Paisley said.

“LGBT+ people recognise these as the same hateful arguments used against us in the past, we see it for the bigotry it is – homophobia recycled as transphobia.”

LGB Alliance has been contacted for comment.