Liz Ward and Nancy Kelley win Charity of the Year for Stonewall UK, 2023 (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

Thank you, Nancy Kelley!

The outgoing Stonewall CEO has helped to discredit gender ideology

Artillery Row

Over the past number of years, we have witnessed Stonewall completely turn its back on those for whom it was originally founded — “LGB” people. Instead, it has chosen to focus its efforts almost entirely on the “T”, by pushing gender ideology and the notion that it is possible to be born in the wrong body.

This ideology is fundamentally incompatible with supporting LGB people, as it essentially erases the concept of “same-sex attraction”. We have also witnessed being gay reframed into being “straight but trapped in the wrong body”.

You can, therefore, imagine the response upon the announcement that the CEO of Stonewall Nancy Kelley was departing the charity by the end of July.

Alongside the announcement, Kelley posted a long Twitter thread celebrating all of the “achievements” of the organisation during her time at the helm.

Under Kelley, we have witnessed the disintegration of Stonewall’s flagship scheme

What a good idea, I thought. I decided to try my hand at something similar — a compilation of Kelley’s “Greatest Hits”, so to speak. However, the “achievements” I have identified are a very different flavour to those put out by Kelley.

Under Kelley, we have witnessed the disintegration of Stonewall’s flagship scheme — the “Diversity Champions Programme”. Swathes of organisations have quit the scheme altogether, including UCL, Ofcom and the BBC, to name but a few. A government minister even stated that he was “delighted” after his department cut ties with Stonewall.

Kelley herself has come under significant fire (and therefore eroded confidence in Stonewall) after some outrageous comments. Most memorable was when she attempted to draw a comparison between those who hold a belief in biological sex (a belief protected under the Equality Act 2010) and “anti-Semitism”.

This type of divisive statement has become par for the course at Stonewall during Kelley’s tenure. For example, leaked emails revealed that Stonewall previously referred to lesbians as “sexual racists”. This was part of a ploy to condemn lesbians who don’t wish to date or sleep with men identifying as women.

One might see a contradiction in Stonewall’s undermining a group of people it was specifically created to protect. The irony does not stop there. Stonewall also found itself being sued on grounds of discrimination by lesbian campaigner and barrister, Allison Bailey. This followed a complaint made by Stonewall to Bailey’s Chambers. The Chambers have already been found to have discriminated against Bailey. An appeal against Stonewall is currently in progress.

We have also witnessed a Kelley leadership target younger and younger children, in a clear attempt to promote gender ideology to them. Stonewall came in for significant criticism after it posted statements online suggesting it is possible for children as young as two years old to be trans. It was later forced to retract these statements, given that there was no truth to them whatsoever.

Similarly, international condemnation of Stonewall followed after it was discovered that it was promoting harmful books on gender ideology to two-year-olds through its website. Given what we know about the irreversible harm caused to children in pursuit of medicalised “transition”, this type of conduct is utterly unforgivable.

Not content with this, Stonewall also took the decision to glorify and euphemise double mastectomies performed on young women in line with gender ideology. In 2022, Stonewall sold Christmas cards on its website, featuring cartoon images of surgical scars.

Stonewall has hounded individuals and organisations who have dared to speak out and challenge the narrative of gender ideology. Most telling was the disgraceful attack launched against the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), in an attempt to get its official status rescinded, on the basis that the EHRC spoke out in favour of balancing and upholding the rights of all within this country.

More often than not, Stonewall under Kelley has discredited itself simply by opening its mouth.

Kelley and Stonewall eventually became a parody of themselves

For example, Stonewall attempted to push a narrative that “asexual” people in society do not have equal rights. Its policy approach made a case that this was evidenced by the fact that married couples in the UK receive tax benefits. The fact that “asexual” people are perfectly entitled to get married had clearly gone over the organisation’s collective heads.

We all remember the “Isla Bryson” saga that took place in Scotland earlier this year. This was the case of a male rapist who had claimed he had transitioned to become a woman and had been initially remanded to a female prison. The Chairman of Stonewall, Iain Anderson, was asked by the BBC what sex Bryson was. Squirming, Anderson replied: “that person is a rapist”. The fact that such a senior Stonewall figurehead was unable to answer such a basic question undermined the very ideology that the organisation espouses.

More than anything, Kelley and Stonewall eventually became a parody of themselves. I still remember cringing when the results of the 2021 Census were released, and Kelley took to Twitter to celebrate the supposed increase of “trans” people living in her London borough of Newham. She wrote that it was “making me want to run out of my front door and shout HELLOOOO!”.

Just a few weeks later, it emerged that the Census figures were almost certainly incorrect and misleading, because of the question’s poor wording and the likelihood that many respondents did not understand what it meant.

Offending swathes of gay people. Alienating potential supporters. Undermining child safeguarding. Attempting to cancel those who disagree with them. All in a day’s work at Stonewall.

As I reflect back on Nancy Kelley’s three year tenure at Stonewall, I come to appreciate that her greatest achievement has been waking up wider society to the harms of gender ideology. For that, she will always have my eternal gratitude.

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