‘We are not inherently male or female’: Stonewall campaigner sparks storm by saying bodies ‘are just bodies’ in discrimination case against charity
- Head of Trans inclusion at Stonewall, Kirrin Medcalf, 24, said in court on Tuesday
- Barrister Allison Bailey is suing her chambers for their ‘complete lack of sympathy’ as she faced aggression from trans activists
- The case sparked a twitter storm on the spread of Stonewall’s stance on transgender issues in schools, universities, councils and private companies
- Mr Medcalf had his mother, a ‘support person’ and a dog present when he gave evidence in court
Humans are not naturally male or female, an executive from LGBT rights group Stonewall has declared.
The claim by the charity’s ‘trans inclusion’ chief comes amid a heated public debate over men and women’s birth sex versus their chosen gender.
Stonewall’s Kirrin Medcalf, 24, made the comments during a discrimination case brought by a lesbian barrister against her chambers and the charity.
Mr Medcalf told the employment tribunal hearing: ‘Bodies are not inherently male or female. They are just their bodies.’
The barrister, Allison Bailey, a friend of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, is suing her chambers, Garden Court, claiming her work and income was curbed for criticising the policies of Stonewall, which was advising it.
J.K. Rowling with Allison Bailey
Miss Bailey founded the LGB Alliance group, which believes Stonewall is promoting trans rights while trampling on those of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
She has told the hearing that the charity is a ‘dangerous and vicious organisation’.
Mr Medcalf’s remarks about human beings not being ‘inherently male or female’ were given in evidence on Tuesday in response to a lawyer’s question: ‘You define women as anyone, including men, who say they are women?’
The comments sparked a Twitter storm yesterday amid condemnation from groups opposing the spread of Stonewall’s stance on transgender issues in schools, universities, Government departments, councils and private companies.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of Transgender Trend, a parents’ group worried about the sharp rise in children wanting to change gender, said: ‘We are glad Stonewall’s ideas have finally been publicly exposed in court.
‘We have known for a long time that this is being taught to children in schools.
‘Anti-science ideas of this kind have no place in education.
‘Schools involved with Stonewall, of which there are many, should end their association with the organisation now.’
Mr Medcalf caused another stir at Miss Bailey’s tribunal earlier this week.
It was paused to put in place his request for his mother, a ‘support person’ and a dog to be present while he gave evidence.
The Stonewall executive had failed to tell the court he required the special arrangements, including periodic breaks.
Miss Bailey told the tribunal her chambers had signed up to what is called the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme, inducing it to follow the charity’s objectives.
‘The focus of all of them is to advance a policy position on trans rights and gender identity that go way beyond the law,’ she said.
‘Stonewall is a very powerful organisation and it can confer protection or it can take it away.
‘The inducement offered with its scheme is reputational protection or reputational harm. It is like a criminal protection racket.’
Miss Bailey said she faced a ‘complete lack of sympathy’ and ‘distinct lack of support’ from her chambers regarding security concerns she had in relation to trans activists, the hearing was told yesterday.
Kirrin Medcalf – head of trans inclusion at Stonewall
In a witness statement to the tribunal, the barrister detailed incidents involving trans activists, including one where she was present and thought she was ‘about to be assaulted as several activists got really close and surrounded me’.
She said in the statement: ‘I was worried that some of these activists might come to know of my opposition to Stonewall and that this might put my safety at risk.
It was a non-specific fear, but I felt genuinely about it.’
In her statement, Miss Bailey said she wrote to the heads of her chambers in December 2018 about her security concerns.
She said she clarified a matter but was then met with no response and had to ‘chase it up’.
Miss Bailey said that ‘thereafter there was a lack of sympathy’.
But Andrew Hochhauser QC, representing Garden Court Chambers, said that Miss Bailey had ignored the fact she had been written to about having discussions on how to support her and ensure her safety.
Stonewall refused to comment ‘while the court case is ongoing’.
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