Stonewall has been at the forefront of the fight for gay, lesbian and bisexual rights for 30 years but today, the organisation that was instrumental in ending Section 28 and shaping the Equality Act, is under fire. Influential gay, lesbian and bi voices, including some its founding members, are distancing themselves from the organisation as a result of its recent focus on transgender equality. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has withdrawn from Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ scheme, and Equalities Minister Liz Truss has called for all Government departments to follow suit. Defending her organisation, Stonewall’s CEO Nancy Kelley controversially likened gender-critical feminism to anti-Semitism in an interview for the BBC, compounding the fact that increasing numbers of gay and bisexual men and women no longer feel represented by the organisation that fights in their name. Pro-gay doesn’t mean anti-trans of course, but would the different forms of discrimination now be better tackled by separate, dedicated organisations? How long can Stonewall survive if more corporate organisations start to withdraw from its lucrative “Diversity Champions” scheme? In terms of gay rights, has Stonewall simply outlived its usefulness, or would the disintegration of Stonewall be a dangerous step towards unravelling LGBT rights?
editor and invited experts
Trustee and former Chair (2014-2020) Stonewall