Stonewall is spearheading a campaign to undermine equality in Britain, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has said.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, its chairwoman Baroness Falkner of Margravine said the controversial trans lobby group had chosen to “go low” by making “unsubstantiated claims” against the EHRC to an EU/UN funded human rights quango.
Stonewall is calling on GANRHI – the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions – to downgrade the watchdog’s status as a national human rights organisation for “actively harming trans people”.
Countering the claims, Lady Falkner said: “Our own reaccreditation last year showed that both our technical and procedural set-up, and our track record of protecting human rights, meet the highest standards.”
“But”, she explained, “after our advice to government on the functioning of the Equality Act this April, we experienced targeted action by a group of campaign organisations, who again used the UN accreditation process as a means to undermine our statutory role”.
“These allegations about us followed a letter we sent in April to the minister for women and equalities, who asked for our advice on the definition of the protected characteristic of ‘sex’ in the Equality Act.
“Our advice on this complex and divisive issue made clear that government should lean towards a biological definition of sex as the fairest way of protecting everyone’s rights”.
Lady Falkner expressed disappointment that activists had triggered a GANRHI review rather than engage with the EHRC “to discuss our proposals to improve the balance of rights and protections”.
“If they disagree with the content of our advice to government” on biological sex, she said, “we stand ready to explain our analysis line by line”.
The watchdog chief concluded: “At the EHRC, we keep our eyes on our public duty first, which is to protect and promote the rights of everyone – not merely those that shout the loudest.”