A coalition of gender-critical groups has accused Stonewall of “targeting” the female boss of Britain’s equalities watchdog with “unreasonable complaints” to the United Nations over her stance on trans issues. The Telegraph has more.
Led by women’s rights organisation Sex Matters, which believes biological sex takes precedence over self-identified gender, the 39 groups said Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chairwoman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, was being attacked for taking action to protect women.
They said Stonewall had subjected her to the same sort of “unreasonable, vexatious complaints” used to harass ordinary women at work.
The groups have signed a letter to the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (Ganhri), which has been persuaded by organisations such as Stonewall to carry out a “special review” into the EHRC, claiming it is anti-trans.
The review could see it stripped of its top-level UN accreditation.
In their letter, the groups accused Stonewall of a “pattern of reprisal, harassment and intimidation” against the commission.
“Kishwer Falkner has been targeted by the same kind of unreasonable, vexatious complaints used to harass and intimidate so many ordinary women at work,” they said.
“Moreover, this has happened precisely because the EHRC acted, within its mandate, to protect such women from being targeted in this way.”
Last year, Baroness Falkner was placed under investigation after 12 current or former staff members at the Equality and Human Rights Commission made dozens of allegations against her.
Details of the complaints were never made public, but her supporters believe they were sparked by the position her watchdog had taken on trans rights. The investigation ended with her keeping her position.
Stonewall and other groups applied to Ganhri for the EHRC to be stripped of its UN accreditation as an ‘A’ status national national human rights organisation.
They complained after the EHRC advised the Government on the protected characteristic of sex in the Equality Act 2010, in which it said transgender people could be legitimately excluded from single-sex services if the reasons were “justifiable and proportionate”.
The letter from Sex Matters was also signed by other groups including the Women’s Rights Network, the LGB Alliance, and Lesbian Labour.
Worth reading in full.
It is “entirely reasonable to challenge the idea that any men can become women,” the letter says. “And what is more, the Equality Act protects our right to do so, and not to be harassed for it. Subsequent legal cases have demonstrated that an organisation or regulator conducting disciplinary procedures against someone for their protected views can itself be harassment.”
Read the full letter here.