A crowdfunder set up to appeal the charity watchdog’s decision to register a controversial campaign group as a charity has raised tens of thousands of pounds in a matter of hours.
Several LGBT charities announced yesterday that they had joined forces to appeal the Charity Commission’s decision to award charity status to the LGB Alliance.
Mermaids, a charity that supports young transgender people, launched the appeal with funding from non-profit campaign organisation the Good Law Project.
The charity argues that the LBG Alliance’s charitable status should be removed, as its “real purpose is the denigration of trans people and the destruction of organisations that support them”.
The appeal is supported by the LGBT+ Consortium, Gendered Intelligence, the LGBT Foundation and TransActual.
It has already raised over £44,000 from more than 1,700 pledges.
The commission registered the LGB Alliance as a charity in April, despite receiving more than 100 formal objections.
In a statement, Mermaids said: “The LGB Alliance’s real purpose is the denigration of trans people and the destruction of organisations that support them, in particular through political lobbying and campaigning for changes to the law.
“These are not charitable purposes for the public benefit; they are political objectives designed to roll back legal protections for trans people.”
The charity also said that since the LBG Alliance was established in 2019, it has targeted LGBT rights charities with accusations of extremism and homophobia, of spreading disinformation, of endangering children, and of campaigning against women’s and gay rights.
Jo Maugham, director of the Good Law Project, said: “Charitable status is for those who serve the public good.
“Denigrating trans people, attacking those who speak for them, and campaigning to remove legal protections from them is the very opposite of a public good.
“We do not believe they meet the threshold tests to be registered as a charity.”
In response to the appeal, Kate Harris, director at the LGB Alliance, said: “It is disappointing to see well-funded groups with a joint annual income of £13.5m try to remove our charitable status.
“LGB Alliance is a new charity run entirely by volunteers and funded by hundreds of individual donations.
“We are committed to advancing the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and are moving ahead with our important work.
“LGB Alliance has confidence in the Charity Commission.”
The Charity Commission responded to Third Sector’s request for comment with the statement it issued in April confirming the registration of the LGB Alliance.
“It is not the Commission’s role to make value judgements about the aims or ideas put forward by any organisation. Instead, its role is to decide whether an organisation’s purposes fall within the legal definition of charity,” it said.
However, the statement also noted: “A charity can promote the rights of one or more specific groups, but may not do so whilst demeaning or denigrating the rights of others, including on social media – and the Commission will consider taking regulatory action where that occurs.”