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The First-tier Tribunal has dismissed an attempt by a transgender charity to have an organisation it believes to be anti-trans removed from the charity register.

The Charity Commission registered LGB Alliance as a charity in April 2021. LGB Alliance supports lesbian, gay and bisexual people. The views held by some of those associated with LGB Alliance on issues concerning trans rights are considered controversial by some people.

Mermaids, which is itself a registered charity, brought an appeal against the Commission’s decision. The issue raised by the appeal was whether LGB Alliance satisfies the statutory test for charity status. Mermaids argued that LGB Alliance’s purposes do not fall within the description of charitable purposes under the Charities Act 2011 and are not for the public benefit.

The appeal, which has attracted considerable media attention, was heard over the course of seven days in September and November 2022. The Tribunal heard extensive evidence on the beliefs and activities of LGB Alliance and its supporters, and on wide ranging issues concerning trans rights and ‘gender critical’ views.

The Tribunal has now dismissed the appeal on the basis that Mermaids did not satisfy the statutory requirements for standing to bring an appeal. In the Tribunal’s view, Mermaids was not a person “who is or may be affected by the decision” to register LGB Alliance as a charity. In particular, the decision did not relate to Mermaids and no identifiable impact on Mermaids’ legal rights was likely to occur as a result of the decision.

The judgment may be found here.

Iain Steele acted for the Charity Commission.

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