Ireland’s LGBT+ community has rejected the launch of the LGB Alliance Ireland, which claims to represent lesbian, gay and bisexual people across the island of Ireland but has so far spoken only about opposing trans rights.
Ireland’s Gender Recognition Act passed through parliament in 2015, giving trans people the right for the first time to access a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and legally be identified as their correct gender.
The legislation is among the most progressive in the world, allowing trans people over the age of 18 to self-identify.
Five years on from the passing of that legislation, an LGB Alliance has launched in Ireland, seemingly in an effort to roll back the country’s progressive laws.
The group was launched with a Twitter account set up on Monday (October 26). In a tweet, the LGB Alliance Ireland claimed that it is “a group of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals from all over Ireland” who believe allowing trans people to live in their correct gender is undermining their own rights.
The group referenced the familiar anti-trans trope that progress on trans rights is part of a “new wave of homophobia”, and the baseless claim that young LGB people are being “encouraged to seek medical transition” as a form of conversion therapy.
LGB Alliance Ireland website reportedly registered in London.
The launch of the LGB Alliance Ireland has been met with a wave of anger and frustration from LGBT+ people in Ireland on social media.
Many have questioned the legitimacy of the organisation, with some alleging that it is actually being run from the UK in an effort to import Britain’s anti-trans “debate” into Ireland.
PinkNews contacted the LGB Alliance Ireland and asked if the group would divulge the names and general locations of its main organisers in an effort to prove that it is an Irish organisation. The LGB Alliance Ireland did not respond to PinkNews’ questions by the time of publication.
It is currently unknown who has set up the Irish branch of the LGB Alliance, or where its founders are based, as the group has not made the names of its organising committee public.
Irish trans man Noah Halpin said on Twitter that he paid a fee to uncover the IP address linked to the Twitter account, and claimed it was “no surprise” to see that it was registered as being used in central London.
You are certainly not welcome.
You have certainly not been made welcome.
The Irish LGBTQI+ community does not welcome you.
This page is not even Ireland based, it’s UK based.
An attempt to import the rampant UK transphobia to Ireland.
No one is falling for it. https://t.co/zCHBUmvzsf
— Noah Halpin (@Noah_Halpin) October 27, 2020
At the time of writing, the LGB Alliance had more than 650 followers on Twitter. A significant majority of those accounts are completely anonymous, with many invoking Harry Potter author JK Rowling in their Twitter handles, and many others describing themselves as “adult human females” – a common term used by anti-trans campaigners.
The LGB Alliance Ireland is also followed by several far-right Twitter accounts, while a significant number of its followers either list no location or describe themselves as living in the UK, the United States, or other international locations.
Ireland’s LGBT+ community ‘must always be a place of radical inclusivity’.
Éirénne Carroll, CEO of the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI), told PinkNews that they were “saddened” to see the LGB Alliance launching in Ireland.
“We thoroughly believe the LGBTI+ community must always be a place of radical inclusivity and support,” Carroll said.
“We are saddened that debunked science, and outdated ideologies are coming to the forefront and that fellow members of the queer community would take aim at a marginalised group, especially during a global pandemic that has contributed to negative mental health outcomes for transgender people.
“We believe as always that trans people are vital parts of the LGBTI+ community. Our lives are worth dignity, respect and protection. We hope that this organisation will see how harmful their views are as they share and give credence to those that would seek to harass and remove transgender people from society.”
TENI added: “Transgender people seek to live a life that is safe, included, and affirmed. It is disheartening to see fellow Irish residents, and international residents choose to malign lives and remove rights from anyone.”
The new branch of the LGB Alliance was welcomed by the original UK group, which was launched in October 2019.
The British organisation has faced significant backlash from the LGBT+ community, with many saying that its anti-trans views are not representative of the wider queer experience.
In the year since it launched, the LGB Alliance has been plagued by fierce opposition from the LGBT+ community for its campaign against the rights of transgender people.