Welcome to Day 2 of Mermaids vs LGB Alliance and the Charity
Commission of England and Wales. Abbreviations for today’s proceedings are above. See our previous coverage and background information on the case here : tribunaltweets.substack.com/p/mermaids-vs-…
We are awaiting the judges, the clerk has just arrived.
Judges have arrived. Setting up the technology.
The court is setting up their technology.
KM - remarking on the challenges of remote access
J - clerks are working hard, complying with the directions of the court. The clerk has gone to investigate feedback in the remote access.
MG - discussing bundle access and what was agreed between the parties.
KM - it is proposed that the redacted bundle go on the LGBA website. Also happy for it to go on Mermaids website.
J - the proposal is that is goes on the LGBA website or both?
KM - we will publish
And they can publish as well
J - must be same material.
Agreed redacted bundle will be published.
Court is rising for a few minutes to sort out the remote access.
We will resume whey they are back
Apologies for the staccato nature of this morning’s tweets. Seems to be some technology problems on the Tribunal end. Attending in person, court has not been using microphones and all the barristers are facing away from the audience.
Tribunal Tweets attending Mermaids vs LGBA & Charity Commission this morning. Seems to be a technology problem with remote access and a number of people are ‘in the waiting room’. Not missing anything yet.
10:30 No activity here.
It is worth noting that the Judge commented that there were 180 attempting to join the remote access on Friday.
Judges have returned.
J: we are still having problems with the technology it is not as we desire. I am addressing the remote observers. Watching comes with a number of obligations. Thank you for your cooperation in identifying yourself. It is important that you listen with your
Microphone on mute and your camera off. Please listening respectfully, no recording. No bad behaviour. Any recording video, audio, screenshots, etc may be subject to contempt of court. Guidance from the Lord Chief Justice.
KM: we have decided to only upload documents and exhibits once the witness has given testimony. AR will be taking the first witness. And just because something is in a witness statement and not challenged does mean it is accepted. And a question being asked does not mean
It will be relevant to the tribunal’s judgement.
J - discussion of witness who is busy and may appear tomorrow morning.
J - call your first witness.
MG - I call Mr Roberts
Sorry technical problem means we lost about 10 tweets will recap later.
AR - taking R to witness statement. You don’t object to what this says?
R - I don’t object to the words on the page.
AR - you wouldn’t object to the delivery of these charitable objects if they were delivered in a manner consistent with your own beliefs.
R - that is correct
AR - you believe they have a transphobic agenda?
R - yes that is correct
AR - you believe that they have deliberately adopted a positive stance to deceive the CC and the wider community.
R - yes that is correct
AR - you describe their messages as innocuous, are they delivering
Hidden messages?
R - Yes
AR - CC decision looked at LGBA inevitably denigrates T people. Quoting from website, ‘respect’, ‘tolerance’ ‘dialogue’ ‘disagreement is not hate’. Do you believe those words are a sham and deceitful?
R - I disagree that that is how they are operating.
AR: now referring to witness statements from BJ and KH. Both discuss pride and history of lesbian activism.
R - that what is written here.
AR - that is 100 years of activism for progressive causes.
R - activism yes, not sure it is progressive
AR - you believe that they have
Have set up this charity with sole objective of removing rights from trans people?
R - yes, I believe that is their prime objective
AR -you realise that they are bombarded daily on social media with accusations of being a hate group?
R - yes, I understand that.
AR -tweet from J Maugham, describing LGB Alliance as a dark money funded hate group. O Wilson: similar tweet.
R - yes I see that
AR - you may not know how many followers they have but they are influential.
R - yes
AR - you are saying that they are prepared to put themselves
Through all of this because of an irrational fear of trans people.
R - I don’t know what motivates them but I believe they are transphobic.
AR - you talk about people who have a disgust for trans people and they are trying to hide it. Is that what you believe.
R - Yes, that is
What I see as transphobic.
AR: are you prepared to entertain that they are acting in good faith?
R - they might believe they are acting in good faith, I believe they are not.
AR: you say earlier they have deliberately deceived the CC, therefore they must be acting in
Bad faith.
R - yes, I agree.
AR: so you are not prepared to entertain that they may be acting in good faith.
R - they are trying to remove rights from trans people. That can’t be good faith.
AR - pointing out that Stonewall only began advocating from trans people in 2015
R - but they always advocated for LBG trans people.
AR: interview with Ruth Hunt. ‘My personal pride rests on bringing trans people within the movement properly’ (paraphrasing) ‘We always knew that would be controversial and that was a price worth paying’. Were you aware
That not everyone would agree with adding the T to the LGB?
R -there was a minority of people who didn’t agree.
AR - it seems that Stonewall was willing to jettison the people who didn’t agree?
R - I wouldn’t agree with the phrasing but it seems like that’s what Stonewall did.
AR: witness statement ‘LBG and T are stronger together’, that hasn’t always been the case.
R - trans people have always been part of our community but we have become more inclusive and progressed
AR: the opposition is that LGB are sexual orientation and T is about identities.
That is the argument.
AR - you don’t see that there are any conflicts between LGB and T rights.
R - I see that some might disagree.
AR - but you are exclusive of people who disagree with including T with LGB.
R - we are not inclusive of this who exclude T
AR - you expect members to be inclusive. An org that focuses on gay men must include trans gay men
R - yes.
AR - that means that an org that focuses on gay men, must include people who are born female, but identify as men and are exclusively attracted to gay men.
R - legally recognised as men.
AR - what do you mean as legally recognised?
R - refers to the Equality Act,
AR - we will say that a trans man who does not have a GRC for purposes of the Eq Act remains a woman.
R - I would disagree with that.
AR - going back to the example, anyone who identifies as a man is quite a wide population.
R - yes.
AR - may not have surgery or taken hormones etc
R -yes
AR - so we are talking about self-identification.
R - yes.
AR - you mean that they are literally men?
AR - they are literally men?
R - no, there would be differences but my understanding is that they are men under the law
AR - what do you mean differences?
R - a trans man might need services that a trans woman would not.
AR - do you believe that trans men are men literally?
R - I would disagree.
AR - On what basis?
R - I believe that anyone who identifies as a man is a man.
AR - self id is based on belief is it not?
R - yes.
AR - there is no objective difference therefore between a trans man and a trans woman.
R - you keep using the word literally, what do you mean.
AR - actually, objectively.
R - trans men are men and should be treated as such.
AR - orgs must accept that a person with a female body can be a gay man. it is transphobic to say otherwise.
R - if someone is being
Denied access to a service yes.
AR - do you believe it is transphobic to say that someone with a female body cannot be a gay man?
R - yes, I agree.
AR - you agreed its transphobic to say that a person with a female body can be a gay man.
R - yes
AR - you believe that it is transphobic to say that gay men do not have sex with people with female bodies.
R - its not for me to say who should have sex with anyone.
AR - I’m not talking about individuals. Is it a transphobic statement in general?
R - that puts it in a very binary way and I’m not sure I agree.
AR - anyone with a female body who is attracted to men is a heterosexual, that is an opinion held by many
R - there will be some
Who believe that
AR - you think it’s bigotry?
R - we are talking about preferences there and its up to that individual
AR - the view that someone with a female body attracted to men, is a heterosexual woman, that is inconsistent with the values of your organisations?
R - yes, that is inconsistent with our values.
Court breaking until approximately 11:40.
R (will be PR from now on) is Paul Roberts, CEO of LGBT Consortium.
AR - Akua Reindorf, barrister for LGB Alliance.
Court personnel attempting to sort out remote access problems. Judges have not returned. It may be some time before we resume.
Periodic update: Judges have not returned. Technology seems to still be the problem.
We are back.
J - leaving the link as it for today. Not been issues, we will try and sort over night.
AR - the phrase ‘same sex attraction’ has fallen out of currency until LGB Alliance was formed.
PR - yes, but practice was mixed.
AR - Stonewall formed using the term
Same sex attraction’.
PR yes
AR - you say it’s not meant to be exclusionary but by its very nature it excludes people who are not same sex attraction.
PR - the difficulty is that it makes sex and gender binary
AR you no longer advocate for people for who are same sex attracted
PR - we do advocate for them
AR - you advocate for same gender attraction not same sex
PR - we advocate for LGB trans people
AR - stonewall glossary, ‘homosexuality is a medical term for those who are attracted to the same gender’
PR - yes
AR - gender is to do with
Masculinity and femininity and are culturally determined. If it is culturally determined then it is not innate.
PR yes
AR - a man could be feminine and a woman could be masculine.
PR - people are who they are
AR - gender nonconformity is typical of the gay community
PR - that’s stereotyping
AR - in that light it would be hard to find any two people who have the same gender if everyone is different.
PR - I’m not sure I would agree with you.
AR - the message seems to be that being gay, or homosexual is that being attracted to people who are
AR - being gay is about being sexually attracted to someone on the same place on the spectrum as you regardless of their biological sex.
PR - I disagree.
AR - what is your definition then?
PR - I don’t agree with that, it’s not that binary.
PR - I’m not that it’s my place to come up with a definition.
AR - you see that from these definitions, it’s completely different when people are attracted to be people of the same sex.
PR - I don’t believe it’s that binary
AR - being attracted to people of the same gender,
Is very different from being same sex attracted.
PR - I do not see the world as that binary.
AR - describes lesbian couples that may be one butch and one femme, aren’t they a straight couple based on gender identity?
PR - I don’t believe there are many lesbian couples like that
(Outburst from spectators)
AR - but will you not acknowledge that people who believe in same sex attraction exists?
PR - I believe if someone is denying the human rights of a trans person, that is transphobic.
AR - are you suggesting that Fanshawe and Harris are denying
Human rights to trans people?
PR - I’m not accusing anyone of that, I’m not a legal expert.
AR - you exclude anyone who wishes to describe LGB as same sex attracted?b
PR - we exclude organisation that would exclude trans men and trans women.
AR - that’s a yes, then
PR - yes.
AR: referring the Nancy Kelly interview with sexual racists quote on cotton ceiling, and structural oppression can influence who we want.
Structural oppression can cause transphobia.
PR - yes that is what it says
AR - you can understand that some people in the LGB community
That would welcome an organisation that advocates for them as same sex attracted rather than same gender?
PR - that a minority view
AR - minority or not, do you agree?
PR - that some would welcome that, yes.
AR - and that is LGB Alliance?
AR - going back to charitable objects of LGB Alliance, same sex attraction and advocacy.
PR -yes,
AR - the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
PR - that’s what they claim.
AR - that’s quite a broad object many ways they could do that.
AR - they do not hide their object that they are campaigning to maintain the definition as same sex attracted.
PR - what there aims are and what they do are different
AR - we are not talking yet about what they do, there is no dark agenda. They don’t lie about it.
PR - what they say and what they are doing is different. I disagree.
AR - nothing they are doing is attempting to prevent trans people living their lives in peace and dignity
PR - I don’t agree, they are undermining trans rights in reality.
AR - your witness statement says
That all campaigns are attacks on trans people?
PR - yes.
AR - they are not mindless attacks on trans people, but rather defending same sex attraction which is a gender critical view
PR - I disagree.
AR - now talking about campaign to exclude ‘trans’ from
Gay conversion therapy. ‘Transing away the gay’.
PR - that’s what they say, but it’s transphobic.
AR - reading to response, promotion of transgender to children is converting gay children to trans. You believe that is transphobic to say that?
PR - they say that, I disagree.
AR - GIDS website. ‘Sexuality of young people coming to GIDS’
In 2015 of the young people AMAB 30% were attracted to males, 30% to females, 30% to both. 60% gay or bi. AFAB 50% attracted to females, 20% attracted to both. 70% gay or bi. Agreed?
PR - using your definition yes,
AR - a disproportionate number of gay young people being referred to GIDS. 10% in general population.
PR - I’m not an expert in statistics.
AR -it’s obvious isn’t it that gay people are over-represented in GIDS referrals.
PR - I’m not sure what definitions you are using?
AR - again, pointing out the disparity
PR - not an expert in statistics but using those definitions it seems so.
AR - LGB Alliance document relating to schools. ‘In the last 10 years, 4000% increase in girls referred to GIDS’
PR - that’s whats written here. I want to be
Very careful about what definitions we are using for trans people.
AR - we are not talking about trans, we are talking about birth sex and same sex attracted.
PR - I don’t know.
AR - gender affirming medical care - a teenager given puberty blockers
Does not go through their puberty with their peers,
PR - not an expert
AR - just your general understanding
PR - not a medical expert
AR - not suggesting you are, but you are an LGBT rights campaigner
PR - yes.
AR - going on to surgery, these surgeries are irreversible?
PR - Not an expert.
AR - and that makes them sterile.
PR - I guess
AR - can you understand that ‘transing away the gay’ is something that would be of concern to a charity that worries about LGB rights
PR - I don’t believe that transing away the gay happens
AR - Iran?
Death or trans offered to homosexuals?
PR - of course
AR - do you not understand that transing away the gay is a major area of concern to an LGB charity.
PR - its a human rights issue, everyone should be concerned.
AR - 4000% increase in referrals of grave concern to an LGB
PR - I don’t believe that the figures lead us to that conclusion.
Court breaks for lunch.
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Our substack page on the case, with hearings from previous days, is here tribunaltweets.substack.com/p/mermaids-vs-…
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