National Lottery defends handing thousands in funding to anti-trans LGB Alliance

A Pride In Surrey activist protests outside the first annual conference of the LGB Alliance in London

The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF) has defended handing thousands of pounds in funding to the anti-trans pressure group LGB Alliance.

On Friday (10 June), LGB Alliance announced that it had “been successful in its application for a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to plan and scope a helpline for young lesbian, gay and bisexual people and their families and friends”.

LGB Alliance, which has campaigned against a legislative ban on conversion therapy in the UK, compared the LGBTQ+ community to bestiality and claims openly that “there is no LGBT+ community”, said that the proposed helpline would “serve young people aged between 13 and 25” and is “anticipated to have the capacity to respond to up to 60,000” calls per year. Despite being labelled as a “transphobic hate group” my lawmakers, activists and swathes of the LGBTQ+ community, LGB Alliance continues to deny it is transphobic.

Despite immediate backlash from the community LGB Alliance is claiming to serve, TNLCF has defended the funding.

A spokesperson told PinkNews: “We can confirm that we have awarded LGB Alliance with a £9,000 National Lottery Awards for All grant for a project to scope the need, feasibility, constituent elements and operating parameters of a national advice service for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people aged 13-25.

“We are satisfied that this project meets our eligibility criteria for funding. All projects we fund must adhere to equalities legislation and the terms and conditions for each grant.”

In its announcement, LGB Alliance did not explicitly state that trans people would be excluded from the service – doing so in practice would violate the Equality Act, which protects trans folk from discrimination.

TNLCF’s defence of the funding is especially strange as, earlier this year, funding by Arts Council England’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, which awarded National Lottery funds for creative projects to mark the Platinum Jubilee, was withdrawn from the LGB Alliance.

The London Community Foundation (LFC), through which LGB Alliance applied for the grant, said that it had withdrawn the funding because LGB Alliance is facing a high-profile appeal against the its charitable status.

Despite the fund’s defence of its decision, LGBTQ+ advocates have said they will continue to ask TNLCF to reconsider.

LGBTQ+ charity Consortium said in a statement: “We are extremely disappointed and concerned that a decision to award this grant has been made, and in particular the impact it could have for the safety of queer youth in need of support.

“We have immediately raised this with our contacts at TNLCF and have been discussing our wider concerns.

“We are now liaising with LGBT+ sector organisations on the implications of this decision and will be supporting organisations to use TNLCF’s process for complaints. We will also be putting forward a sector wide response to highlight how LGBT+ organisations are as one on this.”