Today was the third day of the hearing of Mermaids and the Charity Commission regarding the charitable status of the LGB Alliance.
We heard evidence on behalf of Mermaids from John Nicolson MP and Chair of Mermaids Dr Belinda Bell, and from Bev Jackson, co-founder of the LGB Alliance.
The focus of the questioning of Mr Nicolson was on his experience of the reform of the Gender Recognition Act in Scotland. They then spoke about LGB Alliance’s campaign materials and what he found objectionable about those.
They also talked about Mr Nicolson’s tweets and his experience of social media “pile ons”.
His witness statement is available here.
Dr Belinda Bell then gave her evidence on behalf of Mermaids. This started by clarifying the position of Mermaids on definitions of sex and gender.
We then went through the concerns of Mermaids regarding the LGB Alliance, which are detailed in Dr Bell’s witness statement.
Bev Jackson began to be cross examined by Mermaids’ barristers. This started by clarifying what “gender critical” views are.
The questioning then moved onto Ms Jackson’s beliefs that those who do not hold “gender critical” views are homophobic, and that sex can never be changed.
In Ms Jackson’s evidence, she stated that LGBA see the immutability of biological sex as fact, that should be taught in schools.
Ms Jackson was questioned on the tweets of LGB Alliance, and whether these focussed disproportionately on trans issues, and whether they overstate the position of LGBA.
Cross examination of LGBA’s witnesses continues tomorrow, and the barristers submissions of their legal arguments will begin on Thursday morning.
Notes to editors
2. Mermaids is a UK-wide charity (registered charity number 1160575) supporting transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children, young people, their families and professionals involved in their care. Our goal is to create a world where gender-diverse children and young people can be themselves and thrive. Services include a helpline, web chat and online forums for parents and young people, as well as face-to-face meet-ups for peer support. We also provide training to organisations and advocate for a fairer society for trans young people.
4. This appeal is being crowdfunded.
5. Any media enquiries should be directed to [email protected].