Homosexuality was legalised in England and Wales 55 years ago. The Sexual Offences Act 1967 permitted homosexual acts between two consenting adults over the age of 21. Arguably that – and subsequent liberalisations – really only benefited men; sex acts between women were never criminalised.
But what does it mean to be a lesbian in 2022? This week* Kate Harris – a lesbian and co-founder of the charity LGB Alliance – broke down in court under cross-examination from a male barrister. Michael Gibbon KC, counsel for the charity Mermaids, put it to her that ‘lesbians can include someone who is a woman as a result of gender reassignment.’
That statement encapsulated everything that is wrong with gender identity ideology, and it happened in a court of law.
Let’s be clear, gender reassignment is a legal term that does not necessarily involve ‘sex-change’ surgery. All it requires – according to the Equality Act 2010 – is ‘a process’. In the minds of those who think that men and women are defined by how they feel inside, a man can put on a dress and call himself a lesbian.
As a result, lesbians see themselves under threat, and rightly so. When she composed herself, Harris is reported to have replied:
‘My good friend Allison Bailey said the word lesbian is taken. The word is taken by us. I’m going to speak for millions of lesbians around the world. We love other women. We will not have that stolen from us.’Kate Harris
Well said, and I say that as one of the people who Gibbon may have had in mind. I might have transitioned – and I have certainly changed some of my sexual characteristics – but sex is immutable. Transwomen cannot be lesbians because transwomen are biologically male, and lesbians are defined by their sexual orientation: they are females who are attracted to females.
As disturbing as that exchange was though, the context was even more chilling. Harris was in court because the LGB Alliance’s charitable status is currently being challenged by Mermaids, another charity that works with people in the LGBT sector. It is a battle between two worldviews. Are men and women distinguished by their biological sex or their gender identity? And is a charity that says the former even allowed to exist?
There is profound disagreement between individuals and between organisations on this point. The LGB Alliance and Mermaids are at loggerheads over the impact on children. Mermaids believes that, ‘transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children deserve the freedom and confidence to explore their gender identity.’ On the other hand, the LGB Alliance claims that, ‘evidence suggests most of those concerned will otherwise grow up LGB.’
Surely in a democratic society Mermaids should resort to persuasion rather than litigation? Different opinions are put forward, and the public can then make up their own minds. But that’s not the way Mermaids sees it, and that is why the LGB Alliance is in court. Charitable status confers credibility on an organisation and Mermaids would like the LGB Alliance to lose theirs.
We hear a lot about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion these days but this action from Mermaids is more like Authority, Conformity and Exclusion: conform to our way of thinking, or we will call on the authorities to exclude you. And if a lesbian is brought to tears in court as a result, then so be it.
The hearing, which was due to end on Friday 16 September, has been adjourned until November.
Debbie Hayton is a teacher and journalist.
* This article was first published by The Spectator on 16 September 2022: The moment that showed the madness of gender ideology.
3 replies on “The moment that showed the madness of gender ideology”
This makes me really angry — i.e., when undeserving organizations use the courts to intimidate or try to get an advantage. I don’t know how the law works in England, but here in the U.S. the outcome of such a suit would be pretty clear: The judge would ask Mermaids what their standing to sue is, and, without a good reason to sue, would dismiss the case pretty quickly. After all, how does it affect Mermaids that LGB Alliance has charity status?
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How can Mermaids and Stonewall be charities considering how they misrepresent the law in their literature and use bullying tactics to force organisations to exclude and ignore other groups such as women, Christians, muslins and Jews as if its fine for them to be excluded (breaks the law as religion, race sex all protected characterists), many self exclude themselves because companies follow policies which SW and M push. However their sex discrimination etc is backfiring because boycotting works. From an outsiders point a view reading up about these charities only recently, i see them very prejudicial and discriminating against minority religions and all women. Whereas the Lgb alliance simply stands to help lgb people because it is ran by people who founded SW before it went into trans activism. In short i support lgb alliance. Its M and SW who are seen as extremists by everyone i know.
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I am beginning to think that this might now be unravelling