‘Gender-critical’ academic accepts OBE with lengthy diatribe branding Stonewall a ‘threat to free speech’

University of Sussex professor Dr Kathleen Stock

A ‘gender-critical’ academic awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list has branded LGBT+ charity Stonewall “a threat to freedom of speech” in a diatribe about “gender identity ideology”.

Dr Kathleen Stock, professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2021 New Year Honours list for services to higher education.

Stock has previously asserted that “trans women are still males with male genitalia” but strongly denies she is transphobic. Taking to Twitter on Thursday (31 December), she said she was “honoured” to have received the OBE, adding that Stonewall – the largest LGBT+ rights charity in Europe – is “a threat to freedom of speech”.

“I want to use this opportunity to draw further attention to suppression of critical thought about gender identity ideology and trans activism in UK universities,” Stock said.

She continued: “Most UK universities are Stonewall Diversity Champions. Translation: effectively they’re now trans activist institutions. This significantly limits free thought and free speech of gender-critical academics.”

The Stonewall Diversity Champions programme mission is “ensuring all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace”. More than 850 UK employers are signed up to the programme, which began in 2001, including the University of Sussex where Stock teaches.

Going on to say that academics and students “urgently” need to be able to “criticise gender identity ideology and trans activism”, Stock argued that Stonewall “doesn’t belong in UK universities (or schools, or gov departments, or local authorities, or judiciary, or police forces..)”.

“Once a great organisation, they’re now a threat to freedom of speech/ public understanding,” Stock concluded. “Get them out.”

Robbie de Santos, associate director of communications and campaigns at Stonewall, said: “All employers have a legal duty to reduce inequalities and ensure lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are free from discrimination at work. Our industry-leading Diversity Champions programme supports organisations – including a number of higher education institutions – to make their workplaces more inclusive of LGBT+ people.

“This work is absolutely vital as more than a third of LGBT+ staff (35 per cent hide who they are at work, while one in five (18 per cent) have been the target of bullying because they’re LGBT+. The programme covers everything from policy and procedure, to staff networks and monitoring, to culture and wellbeing to help organisation create truly inclusive workplaces.
“We are proud of the ground-breaking work that higher education members of the Diversity Champions programme do to make their workplaces more inclusive.”

The University of Sussex has been contacted for comment.