There really is something decidedly peculiar, if not outright rotten, about Stonewall. For a Gay right group, it conistently takes some very odd positions.
First, it was its support for transphobe Julie Bindel. Then its odd attitude to gay marriage. Now an endorsement for yet another transphobic column. The general press release is below.
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Writer and sexual rights activist Jane Fae last night said she was both “astonished” and “outraged” at Gay Right’s Group Stonewall’s apparent carelessness over the issue of transgender rights.
Speaking on the subject of Stonewall’s decision to nominate yet another apparently transphobic journalist for one of their awards, Jane said: “First it was Julie Bindel, whose personal statements on transgender issues have caused great upset within the transgender community, and who they nominated in 2008 . Now it is Bill Leckie.
“It is truly disappointing that Stonewall, an organisation that grew out of one very particular form of social exclusion, should regularly be so careless of the feelings of the transgendered
“Awards serve two purposes: to celebrate the work of individual winners; and to send out a message, from the awarding body, as to the sort of conduct it believes to be praiseworthy.
“I have no idea whether Mr Leckie is personally transphobic. However, his writing on transgender issues was singled out by Stonewall Scotland in 2007 as an example of transphobic writing: he returned to the issue of gender identity in 2008 with views on transgender prisoners that suggest he believes those who break the law should be denied the right to assert their own gender identity.
Underlying this decision, Jane believes is an outdated and dangerous approach to equalities. She went on: “Stonewall, along with various bodies such as the EHRC, is locked into a view of equalities that is based on the idea that special rights should accrue to individuals possessing ‘protected characteristics’.
“Their continued trampling over the sensitivities of other minority groups, perhaps in the mistaken belief that as minorities themselves, they can do no wrong, is the inevitable result.”
Ms Fae recently presented a paper setting out arguments for an approach to equality that did not rely on ‘protected characteristics’ to the Brighton and Sussex Sexualities Network, a forum dedicated to the intersection of academia and activism
Updated to add (at the prompting of various commenters) the evidence:
The original condemnation of Mr Leckie was contained in this Stonewall Scotland report (p.16).
Despite Stonewall’s claims to have presided over his rehabilitation following the report, he was still providing some distinctly off notes on trans issues a year or more later in his regular column.