Allison Bailey’s attempt to sue Stonewall UK; an introduction

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The criminal barrister has sought out legal recourse as she believes she has been unfairly discriminated against by both her legal chambers and Stonewall UK. This after she helped found LGB Alliance.

Anti-trans activists haven’t been shy at all with regards to chasing legal action that has the potential to set precedent supporting their beliefs. We have seen enormous amounts of money raised to support judicial reviews and employment tribunals such as this one. Which at time of writing has raised just shy of £500,000.

Allison Bailey is alleging she was discriminated against by her employers (not really, but sort of-ish?), Garden Court Chambers, and also Stonewall UK. She believes that she has lost work because of Stonewall as she is a critic of ‘Stonewall Law’. Which, in short, is the idea that Stonewall are misrepresenting the law, specifically the Equality Act, and disadvantaging cisgender women at the behest of transgender women.

Stonewall have signed up many companies, public bodies, voluntary sector organisations and government departments to their manifesto and their value system regarding trans rights. What is called Stonewall Law. Without most of the public realising it, a large swathe of British employers have signed up to the Stonewall value system. It has done this by trying to silence and vilify women like me who have genuine concerns about how its approach to trans inclusivity conflicts with the protections, safety and dignity of women, girls, children and LGB people.

By this she means that many companies have seen the influence of Stonewall UK and decided to voluntarily sign up to their programmes, such as the much targeted Diversity Champions Scheme. I would love to believe this is because such companies believe in LGBTQIA+ equality, however it’s more likely that they have done so because in a society that is growing more and more LGBTQIA+ friendly, its just good business.

The discrimination case versus is very straight forward; either they did or they did not act unlawfully with regards to Bailey’s views. The case against Stonewall UK gets a little bit more complex, but essentially she is arguing that her chambers and Stonewall had a significant relationship through the Diversity Champions Scheme. Such a relationship would be subject to Equality Act protections and make Stonewall liable if they had instructed the chambers to mistreat Bailey; should it be ruled that she was mistreated first.

So in short, Bailey is attempting to prove A) She lost work B) that the reason for that was because of intolerance towards her views C) that Stonewall’s relationship with Garden Court Chambers via the Diversity Champions Scheme was significant and finally D) Stonewall at some point pressured the chambers into action against Bailey before any of this.

I’m not so sure how well she is going to do with that as in a chronology put fowards in court documents about the case; Bailey seems to have been the first one to make any moves at all. Reading that in late 2018 “she made clear in an email to all members of Chambers that she was opposed to Chambers associating with Stonewall through its Diversity Champions’ Scheme”. She also alleged that Stonewall was “acting in breach of the Equality Act 2010”. Then in late 2019 she helped launch LGB Alliance and sent several tweets about that. At which point – over a year later – “Stonewall complained about her to Chambers”, causing her tweets and social media – which had Garden Court Chambers in the bio – to be investigated.

It is unclear the nature of the entirety of Stonewall’s interaction with Garden Court Chambers currently. However we have seen one email from Allison Bailey’s case so far which is allegedly an email sent by a Stonewall representative to her chambers. It references behaviours by Allison Bailey, including a tweet marked as a threat of violence which Bailey is reported to have ‘retweeted’. It does not include any instructions to the Chambers and merely says that Stonewall’s priority is to all LGBT people’s safety however they find themselves in a difficult position with regards to the chambers, given Bailey’s activity.

The Tribunal began Monday with some general house-keeping and was set to continue today at 10:00am, however Bailey spent an evening in hospital due to unknown health circumstances and was unable to attend. The tribunal has been adjourned until 10:00am tomorrow and we at Trans Writes wish Bailey a speedy recovery and the best of healthcare out comes despite thoroughly despising her views.

Hopefully, you should at least be somewhat or mostly caught up on this story now, and able to follow along with any reporting going on. Happy trails!

Gemma Stone
Gemma Stone is a transgender writer who has been covering the rise of transphobic hate campaigning in the UK. She has written hundreds of articles dissecting aspects of transphobia including debunking blatant disinformation. She is very tired and trying her best, and hopefully having a positive impact on such a beautiful community.

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