Uni academics: Stonewall ‘still stifling freedom’ on trans issue

LGBT rights group Stonewall has been accused of suppressing academic freedom on the issue of transgenderism.

More than 20 professors, lecturers and researchers wrote to The Times to accuse UK universities of adopting Stonewall policies that shut down criticism on trans ideology.

Signatories include Simon Fanshawe, who co-founded Stonewall in 1989 but left the organisation over its approach to transgender issues.


The academics were writing in support of Rachel Ara, a lesbian artist no-platformed by Oxford Brookes University after students said her pro-women views were ‘transphobic’.

They said the move demonstrates “the censorious environment within UK universities with respect to discussion of sex and gender”.

The letter added: “Present university policies put academics who question the political position of Stonewall at risk of formal complaint, as well as wider harassment. This is to the detriment of society”.


Last month, Fanshawe criticised Stonewall for placing the self-identification of gender ahead of women’s rights and safety.

The veteran gay rights activist went on to accuse the organisation of seeking to shut down debate on gender ideology.

He said: “In universities, particularly, the fundamental principle is the freedom to debate. I don’t think you should close down opinions.”


In June, a group of academics publicly criticised Stonewall for presenting “tendentious and anti-scientific claims” as “objective fact, without the opportunity for scrutiny”.

They asked it to clarify its support for academic freedom, and, failing this, urged universities to split from the organisation.