The attempt by trans charity Mermaids to have a gay charity struck off is ‘profoundly homophobic’, a tribunal has heard.
Mermaids has launched legal action arguing that the LGB Alliance should be stripped of its charitable status, alleging the organisation is merely a front for transphobia and political campaigning to prevent changes on gender self-identification in the law.
The two charities fundamentally disagree on issues of trans rights, with the LGB Alliance taking the view that people cannot change their biological sex while Mermaids argue they can.
It is believed to be the first time a charity has ever challenged the registration of another charity.
Representing the LGB Alliance, Karon Monaghan KC claimed that Mermaids’ action was ‘profoundly homophobic’ and ‘deeply offensive’, adding: ‘It is again the love the that cannot speak its name’.
During the hearing, which relies heavily on social media posts, Mermaids had suggested that words like gay, lesbian, bisexual, sexual orientation and sex-based rights were ‘used to signal position against trans rights’, the tribunal in central London heard.
Ms Monaghan claimed Mermaids had not suggested the charity was a ‘sham’ – and instead the case relied upon ‘insinuation’ and ‘conspiracy’ to suggest that they were ‘setting out to deceive’ the Charity Commission about the work they were doing, The Telegraph reported.