Historic win for LGB Alliance

General Regulatory Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal rules that

Mermaids had no legal right to challenge LGB Alliance’s charitable status

Mermaids and the Good Law Project, forced the UK’s only charity that stands exclusively for the rights of LGB people to defend its charitable status in a six-day tribunal hearing. Today’s judgment confirmed, as LGB Alliance had argued from the start, that Mermaids had no legal basis on which to bring this challenge.

Responding to this judgment, Kate Barker, Chief Executive Officer of LGB Alliance, said:

“We are absolutely delighted with this judgment and with the news that we will retain our charitable status.

Two years ago, we were clear that Mermaids had no standing to challenge our registration and today the tribunal has confirmed that we were correct.

Whilst this is a battle we did not seek, neither would we flee from it. But the cost to us and to our supporters has been huge. 

Our legal fees amount to more than £250K and that money has come from small supporter donations. So, whilst our win is great news for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, we can’t help but reflect on the fact that a sum like that would have been better spent on projects such as our Helpline for young people, our LGB Archive and our Friends’ Network.

This case did, however, provide a welcome opportunity to talk about our work in a public forum and we hope that the era of ‘no debate’ is over.”

The Tribunal said, “the fundamental rationale of the democratic process upon which our society is founded is that when competing views, opinions and policies are publicly debated and exposed to public scrutiny, the good will over time drive out the bad and the true will prevail over the false. Only when differing views are expressed, contradicted, answered and debated will the legislature be able to obtain the fullest picture of the views held by those they represent.”

Kate Barker added, 

“In a free society we must be free to disagree and we hold fiercely to that view.

We are relieved that this long, and sometimes bruising, process has reached an end and we thank all of our wonderful supporters and our brilliant legal team.

As to our detractors…They tried to run us ragged. They failed.  We’re happy that now the work goes on.”

Our legal team 

LGB Alliance’s solicitor is Peter Daly, a partner at Doyle Clayton.  He said:

“We are pleased that the Tribunal has agreed with our primary case that Mermaids never had standing to bring this Appeal in the first place.  Our clients have been put through two years of stressful and unnecessary litigation.  We look forward to them now being able to put this behind them and turn their full attentions towards their important charitable work in support of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”