The granddaughter of a founding member of Amnesty International has criticised the organisation for supporting a campaign to silence free speech on transgender issues.
Amnesty International (AI) signed an open-letter demanding opponents of radical gender ideology be denied “legitimate representation” in the public arena.
Iseult White, whose grandfather Seán MacBride was a co-founder of AI, described the group’s support for the Transgender Network Ireland (TNI) letter and campaign as having “a chilling effect on society”.
Freedom of speech
Writing to The Irish Times, White expressed astonishment that the organisation, founded to promote human rights, would seek to “deny legitimate representation to people of conscience”.
She said the TNI letter stated: “‘We call on media, and politicians to no longer provide legitimate representation’ for those they designate as holding ‘bigoted beliefs’”.
However, she argued “the convictions I hold around the importance of freedom of speech and the necessity of affording people with differing views and beliefs legitimate representation, dictates that I could never have signed or supported this letter”.
The TNI letter accuses those who say biological sex cannot be changed of “bigotry” and being “misinformed and transphobic”, and forms the basis of a petition on ‘change.org’.
It declares: “We will not allow anyone to promote hate, to trade in bigotry, or to attack legislation, education and programs that affirm transgender, nonbinary, and intersex people.”