Gay rights group Stonewall may split as activists say its transgender policy puts women and children at risk
- Co-founder of Stonewall said group had undermined women’s sex-based rights
- Simon Fanshawe said that ‘violence towards lesbians is completely staggering’
- Said women’s rights based on reproductive status confused with social identity
- The group are also worried children are too quickly asked about gender identity
Leading gay rights group Stonewall could split after activists said its transgender policy puts women and children at risk.
Co-founder Simon Fanshawe was one of 22 people who signed a letter saying the charity had ‘undermined women’s sex-based rights and protections’.
In a letter shared with the Sunday Times the group, which have a preliminary name of LGB Alliance, claimed that Stonewall has become ‘intransigent’.
They also said they are worried young, primary school-aged children are too quickly questioned about their gender identity.
Co-founder of Stonewall Simon Fanshawe, pictured, is one of 22 people who signed a letter saying that the charity could split as its transgender policy puts women and children at risk
They also stated that Stonewall does not represent the views of all lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but that the government believes it does.
Mr Fanshawe said Stonewall has confused womens’ rights which were won based on reproductive status with social identity and this makes bad laws.
He said: ‘You can’t self-ID out of female genital mutilation… Your access to abortion and getting pregnant — that happens because you are a woman.’
Mr Fanshawe also told the Sunday Times: ‘Violence towards lesbians is completely staggering.’
He explained he has seen many signs that say “Death to Terfs” at events, but never a feminist placard reading the same to Trans people.
Terf stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminists, a subgroup which do not support trans women’s rights.
In the letter the group claimed Stonewall has confused womens’ rights which were won based on reproductive status, with social identity. Pictured are people at the first Trans Pride March in London last weekend
Mr Fanshawe said ‘violence towards lesbians is staggering’ and he has often seen signs which read ‘Death to Terfs’ at events, but never a feminist placard that says ‘Death to trans people.’ A group are seen holding a sign reading ‘Terfs you do not speak for me’ at an event in London
Stonewall told MailOnline: ‘We’re proud of the work we do with trans communities to advance trans equality.
‘Trans people are currently facing horrific levels of harassment and abuse in their daily lives. It’s a situation none of us should accept.
‘We know that there is huge support for trans rights from lesbian, gay and bi communities and within the feminist movement.
‘Now is the time to make that support even more visible and vocal. History has shown that extending equality to one group does not negatively impact others; it in fact strengthens everyone’s equality.’
Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act.
Since its creation 30 years ago the group has been involved in campaigning for several causes including the lifting the ban on LGB people serving in the military.
Stonewall was set up in 1989 by a small group and has been active in campaigning ever since. Pictured are people at the Trans Pride March in London on September 14
They have also helped secure legislation which allowed same-sex couples to adopt and the repeal of Section 28.
Fracturing from Stonewall and setting up a new group could put pressure on the government as the Gender Recognition Act 2004 review is announced.
Consultation for the review ran for 16 weeks and tens of thousands of people took the opportunity to write to the government.
Stonewall explains on their website that they support a GRA which recognises non-binary identities and doesn’t require a medical diagnosis.