LGB Alliance shamelessly use Boris Johnson’s hospital stint to spread ‘propaganda’ about trans rights

LGB Alliance logo

The ever ‘silenced’ LGB Alliance took out a full-page display ad in two Scottish newspapers across the weekend in what LGBT+ people dubbed a “politely worded piece of propaganda”.

Printed in The Scotsman on Saturday (11 December) and The Herald on Sunday on Sunday (13 December) the advert is styled as a letter to British prime minister Boris Johnson, imploring him to “talk” to the anti-trans group before peddling an array of misinformation and anti-trans tropes.

It was rammed with non-sequiturs, such as referencing the time Johnson “flattened a child at a rugby demo” before wheeling in how it is “unfair” that trans women compete in sports.

As far as we’re aware, trans women competing in sports is not quite the same as a grown man “flattening” a child during a rugby game.

Some readers swiftly cancelled subscriptions to the newspaper, while others encouraged disgruntled Scots to sign a petition calling for the British press to stop giving an “uncritical platform” to the lobbyists – it has already tallied thousands of signatures.

The Advertising Standards Authority, an advertising regulator, confirmed to PinkNews it has received 120 complaints about the advertisement. A representative said the agency is “currently assessing the complaints to establish if there are any grounds for any further action”.

LGB Alliance sought to position itself and its supporters, many tied to homophobic groups and neo-Nazis, which the group has refused to denounce, as “sensible” in the advert, calling on the premier to “have a conversation” around trans rights.

But behind the talk of dialogue were several barbs around trans rights – not surprising, actual LGBT+ activists said, who have come to expect this from a group that has defended working with the anti-LGBT+ and anti-abortion Heritage Foundation.

In a volley of vastly unsubstantiated claims, LGB Alliance said in the advert that trans youth taking puberty blocks do so because they “do not conform to gender stereotypes”.

They shouldn’t take what researchers have dubbed life-saving treatment, the LGB Alliance claimed, because they will “simply grow up to be gay”. Puberty blockers really don’t work like this, experts rebuff, who actually provide evidence, unlike the LGB Alliance.

The group claimed trans rights are “eroding” the rights of women and then used instances of Johnson’s life as launchpads to aim attacks against trans people.

In one paragraph, the advert referenced Johnson’s encounter with coronavirus: “You’ve recently had a spell in hospital.”

Simple enough, yet, somehow, the group uses it to slide in the view: “So would you agree with us that single-sex wards provide the privacy and dignity people need when they’re feeling the most vulnerable?”

The advert ends with the group claiming, in a front-page advert splashed across national newspapers, that “LGB people and women” have been “denied a voice”.

‘Appalling’ LGB Alliance ad criticised by LGBT+ people

Fraser, a 32-year-old in Glasgow, told PinkNews he was so taken aback by the advert he ended his digital subscription to The Herlald. It was “the final straw,” he said, and was no isolated incident.

“The paper has run a series of articles and opinion pieces about the Gender Recognition Act reform in Scotland.

“Most come across as negative and I’m yet to find a piece in the paper on the various organisations that support the bill – only those who are negative about the reform. I found this an unfair balance, so I’ve withdrawn my support.”

Similarly shocked responses were found on Twitter. One user dubbed the advert a “politely worded piece of propaganda”.

Another said: “Do [LGB Alliance] REALLY think aggressively screaming hate in someone’s face and wanton persecution means they’re a group capable of anything remotely resembling a sensible conversation?

“[LGB Alliance] are a hate group and I’m not lowering myself to converse with sewer dwellers like them!”

“How can they speak for our community,” one user questioned.

“It’s so appalling people still act/think like this. Trans individuals already face so much discrimination, one would hope they could find a safe and welcoming place within the LGBTQIA+ community.”

The abrasive advert prompted countless Twitter users to sign the petition started by actor David Paisley. “The UK media continue to provide an uncritical platform to the self-described ‘LGB’ Alliance, an organisation many in the LGBT+ community feel is a hate group and does not represent them,” wrote Paisley in the Change.org petition.

“We the undersigned ask that the UK media stops providing an uncritical platform for the contentious organisation LGB Alliance.

“The LGB Alliance are widely thought of as an anti-LGBT+ hate group, as such any discussion in the UK media should frame them with respect to how they are perceived by the LGBT+ community,” he added.

PinkNews contacted The Herald and Scotsman for comment.