Framing, its fun for all the family! The result of the Allison Bailey tribunal is out and transphobes are already claiming a win, with Allison herself having repeatedly posted the hashtag #AllisonBaileyWins.
Indeed, Allison Bailey spent much of the time promoting her tribunal case as a case against Stonewall specifically. “I’m suing Stonewall” reads her crowdfunding pages. Chief among her goals being to expose “Stonewall Law!” as being bad for women and lesbians specifically.
Neither of which have really come to fruition, in my humble not lawyer-ly opinion. Her case against Stonewall was dismissed entirely, alongside the claims that discrimination against gender critical beliefs is indirectly discrimination against women and lesbians. That’s 3 out of 4 of the main goals gone already.
What remains is the discrimination claim against her chambers, Garden Court Chambers. She alleged that their behaviour singled her out for her belief and then mistreated her because of it, to which the court agreed. Ordering payments of under £30,000 for “injury to feelings” after a case which she raised over half a million for.
Did she at least manage to expose Stonewall as – in her words – the criminal protection racket it operates like? Not really. The court heard from witnesses that Stonewall were really struggling to get Garden Court to listen to or expand upon their offered services in any meaningful respect.
We also heard Garden Court talking about their relationship with Stonewall as a purely business transaction. Garden Court wanted more customers and assumed Stonewall’s support would help them get it, as opposed to what Stonewall were actually there to do which was support their LGBTQIA+ staff.
So no, not really. Stonewall were exposed in this, but not as mastermind villains, but rather as having a “softly softly” approach to the issues. Such as when they made recommendations to Garden Court on how to improve their workplace which were just entirely ignored and Stonewall did and said nothing about that.
For me the most interesting part is regarding all of the ‘cotton ceiling’ talk. What I’ve become distinctly aware of is the lack of good and informative articles on the subject. This has allowed anti-trans zealots the leeway in order to avoid scrutiny for their extremist and hyperbolic views on it.
For example; Allison Bailey accused a transgender woman of hosting an event “with the sole goal of coaching heterosexual men to coerce young lesbians into sex”. This statement is obviously designed from the ground up to illicit an extreme response and – in my view – very clearly alleges a sex crime.
However due to a lack of actual information either about the event or the cotton ceiling in general and with no one complaining about the sex crime aspect of the tweet by Allison Bailey – its largely been swept under the rug. The tweet is considered part of her protected belief despite numerous barristers having questioned whether it meets the standards set out by the Bar.
So in short, did Allison Bailey win – kind of, but not really in the way she wanted at all and the decision could still be appealed if either party aren’t happy with the outcome.
So that’s the initial take for now, keep your eyes peeled for more from Trans Writes on this. I personally plan to write a big piece on the cotton ceiling to fill that information gap once and for all. I’m also looking to commission some commentary from trans Twitter’s resident legal experts. Should be neat!