A swathe of LGBT activists have hit out at Stonewall over its stance on transgenderism.
In a letter to The Times, 17 LGBT campaigners – including feminist Julie Bindel, singer Alison Moyet, and transsexual Miranda Yardley – say Stonewall is ignoring valid concerns.
They said the LGBT lobby group “has made mistakes in its approach” by not allowing discussion surrounding the implications of the Government’s proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act.
The letter said: “it is vital for there to be a debate about transgender politics and the rights of women and girls. Stonewall disagrees, and calls debate on this matter “transphobic”.
“We urge Stonewall to acknowledge that there are a range of valid viewpoints around sex, gender and transgender politics, and to acknowledge specifically that a conflict exists between transgenderism and sex-based women’s rights.
“We call on Stonewall to commit to fostering an atmosphere of respectful debate rather than demonising as transphobic those who wish to discuss, or dissent from, Stonewall’s transgender policies.”
Jonathan Best, former Artistic Director of Queer Up North, said that transgender activists had “an extreme identity politics” that sought to “redefine sex and gender for the whole of society”.
He said: “Men are not women – and your bullying will not persuade us differently”.
Director of Fair Play for Women Nicola Williams tweeted: “Stonewall is coasting on a reputation it no longer deserves” as it “actively lobbies to remove women’s rights”.
Variety of signatories
The letter’s authors were joined by a further 16 signatories, including transsexual activists, to launch a petition urging Stonewall to change its policy.
Kate Harris, former Stonewall fundraiser, and Philip Hensher, who was once named Stonewall Journalist of the Year, were among those with ties to the lobby group to sign it.
Other signatories included former Girl Guide leader Helen Watts, who had her membership terminated after speaking out against Girlguiding’s transgender policy.