Thursday, 14 October 2010

Stonewall and Those Darn Feet of Clay Strike Again

Jane Fae, the writer and sexual rights activist is on the warpath and rightly so. Stonewall (the gay rights charity) has once again demonstrated its remarkable ability to piss off the trans community. For those new to this whole subject, Stonewall is a gay rights charity in England and Wales but north of the border, Stonewall Scotland also encompasses the trans agenda. You can make arguments either way on whether that's right or not but the trouble is, Stonewall keep managing to upset the trans community by apparently taking steps that offend.

Whether this is part of some conspiracy or (as I suspect) an example of Stonewall's lack of understanding of trans issues, it doesn't really matter. What matters is Stonewall continues to irritate and dismiss people who should be key supporters of the aims of Stonewall (although heaven knows what they are these days).

The latest upset follows Stonewall’s decision to nominate yet another apparently transphobic journalist for one of their awards, Jane has stated in a press release: "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."

Interestingly, Fae locates this stance within a wider narrative: "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."

Of particular interest to British law readers is the fact the award Fae is upset about is sponsored by a law firm - Herbert Smith. This might not be the publicity they had hoped for.

You can read the other categories, candidates and details of the awards on the Stonewall site here.

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