JK Rowling hails Allison Bailey 'for refusing to abandon her beliefs'
today praised a ‘gender-critical’ lesbian lawyer as her ‘heroine’ after she won a landmark employment tribunal case against her chambers, who must pay her £22,000 in damages.
Allison Bailey accused Garden Court Chambers of withholding work from her and trying to crush her spirit after she criticised ‘s trans policies including recommendations to change pronouns from ‘she and he’ to ‘they and their’.
Ms Bailey’s gender-critical beliefs include that sex is biological and cannot change, and that the word ‘woman’ is defined as ‘adult human female’.
Today she won her case for discrimination against Garden Court – but lost her case against Stonewall, who she had branded a ‘malign influence’ in British society and workplaces.
Within minutes of the judgment, her friend JK Rowling tweeted: ‘Allison Bailey is a heroine to me and innumerable other feminists for refusing to abandon her beliefs and principles in the fact of intimidation and discrimination. Congratulations’, adding: ‘And I couldn’t be prouder of my friend’.
In December 2018 Ms Bailey complained to her colleagues about the chambers becoming a Stonewall Diversity Champion, saying that Stonewall advocated ‘trans extremism’ and was complicit in a campaign of intimidation of those who questioned gender self-identity.
She founded the LGB Alliance group, hardware store lexington ky which argues there is a conflict between the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and transgender people – and opposes many of Stonewall’s policies, including the assertion that ‘trans women are women’.
Today a tribunal upheld her claim that Garden Court discriminated against her because of her belief.She was awarded £22,000 compensation.
But the tribunal found against her in other elements of the case and dismissed her claim against Stonewall, who she accused of alleged discrimination because the chambers was a part of the charity’s Diversity Champions scheme. Garden Court Chambers said in a statement: ‘We are reviewing the judgment carefully with our legal team with a view to appeal’.
Allison Bailey accused LGBTQ charity Stonewall of operating ‘like a criminal protection racket’ by persuading firms to follow its transgender policies.Pictured: Harry Potter author JK Rowling with Ms Bailey during a lunch with other prominent feminists in London in April
Ms Rowling congratulated her friend on winning part of her employment tribunal case
The tribunal found that GCC discriminated against Ms Bailey by publishing a tweet saying it was investigating her and by upholding a claim by Stonewall arguing that two of her tweets ‘were likely to breach (The Bar Standards Board’s) core duties’.
But allegations that it discriminated against and victimised her through withholding of instructions and work in 2019, causing the claimant financial loss, a claim of indirect discrimination by GCC, and a claim that Stonewall instructed, caused or induced GCC to discriminate against her, were all dismissed.
In December 2018, Ms Bailey complained to her colleagues about GCC becoming a Stonewall Diversity Champion, claiming the group advocated ‘trans extremism’ and was complicit in a campaign of intimidation of those who questioned gender self-identity.
In October 2019 she was involved in setting up the LGB Alliance advocacy group to resist ‘gender extremism’.
Her tweets opposing trans rights campaigns led to tweets and complaints being sent to GCC, alleging her opinions were transphobic and damaged GCC’s reputation.
The tribunal held that her gender-critical belief that Stonewall wanted to replace sex with gender identity, that the absolutist tone of its advocacy of gender self-identity made it complicit in threats against women, and that it eroded women’s rights and lesbian same-sex orientation, were beliefs protected under the Equality Act.
A reserved judgment handed down on Tuesday upheld her claim that GCC discriminated against her because of her belief, when it tweeted that the complaints would be investigated under a
complaints procedure, and when it found in December 2019 that two of her tweets were likely to breach barristers’ core duties.
GCC was ordered to pay her £22,000 compensation for injury to feelings, plus interest of £4,693.33.
The chambers said it is ‘reviewing the judgment carefully with our legal team with a view to appeal’.
Ms Bailey received backing from Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who tweeted a picture of her ‘inspirational’ friend to mark Lesbian Visibility Week
Ms Bailey claims that Stonewall convinced her employer Garden Court Chambers to investigate her support of gender-critical beliefs and is suing them both for discrimination
On April 11, JK Rowling hosted some of Britain’s most prominent feminists and women’s activists – including Allison Bailey – to support the ‘Respect My Sex’ campaign
The tribunal did not accept she lost work and income because of her December 2018 complaint, or her claim that a Stonewall complaint about her tweets was ‘engineered’ by a trans rights-supporting colleague.
She had made an indirect discrimination claim alleging that GCC had a practice of holding that gender-critical views were bigoted, and that GCC allowed Stonewall to direct its complaints process, but both claims were rejected.
A separate allegation that Stonewall instructed or induced discrimination by GCC, or attempted to do so, was also rejected.
Reacting to the outcome on Twitter, Ms Bailey wrote: ‘The Employment Tribunal found that Garden Court Chambers discriminated against me because of my gender critical belief when it published a statement that I was under investigation & in upholding Stonewall’s complaint against me.’
Kate Barker, managing director of LGB Alliance, praised ‘Allison’s bravery and steadfast focus on truth and justice’.
A Stonewall spokesperson said: ‘We are pleased that the tribunal ruled that Stonewall has not been found to have instructed, caused or induced (GCC) to discriminate against Allison Bailey.’
A GCC spokesperson said the judgment ‘dismissed Ms Bailey’s claim against Stonewall and most of her claims against Garden Court Chambers including all her claims for indirect discrimination’, adding: ‘We note that her primary claim (for loss of earnings on the grounds of victimisation) was dismissed, the tribunal finding that ‘We could not conclude that it was shown that the fall in income was in any way influenced (let alone significantly influenced)’ by Ms Bailey’s complaint to colleagues about Garden Court becoming a Stonewall Diversity Champion or by her beliefs.
‘The tribunal found that it ‘could not conclude that (GCC) as a whole had a practice of treating gender-critical beliefs as bigoted’.This confirms our stance.
‘We have maintained throughout that our members, quite reasonably, hold differing views in the complex debate around trans and sex-based rights.’
Ms Bailey founded the LGB Alliance group, in 2019, which argues there is a conflict between the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and transgender people – and opposes many of Stonewall’s policies, including the assertion that ‘trans women are women’.
She claimed to have lost work and income due to GCC’s involvement with Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme, which she said was ‘exclusive’ and ‘discriminatory’ of her beliefs.
Ms Bailey has previously received backing from Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who tweeted a picture of her ‘inspirational’ friend to mark Lesbian Visibility Week earlier this year, sparking a trans row on social media.
Stonewall had recommended GCC change the pronouns ‘she and he’ to ‘they and their’, Ms Bailey said.
Ms Bailey claimed her income substantially reduced ‘in comparison to previous years, most notably to 2018’, blaming the central London law firm for the ‘withholding of instruction and work’ from her following these interactions.
Garden Court had said there is ‘not one shred of evidence’ to suggest she was deprived of work. Ms Bailey raised more than £495,000 to fund her legal case.