Round 2, incoming.
Allison Bailey, whose chambers was found to have discriminated against her because of her defence of same sex attraction, has appealed the Employment Tribunal's exoneration of Stonewall.
Bailey, a lesbian barrister, was awarded £22,000 in damages after the tribunal determined that Garden Court Chambers' announcement that it was "investigating concerns about Allison Bailey's comments" and would "take all appropriate action" constituted discrimination.
Bailey angered people in Garden Court, which was a Stonewall Diversity Champion, by tweeting that "Stonewall recently hired Morgan Page, a male bodied person who ran workshops with the sole aim of coaching heterosexual men identifying as lesbians on how they can coerce young lesbians into having sex with them", which Page called "overcoming the cotton ceiling".
In another tweet she celebrated the launch of LGB Alliance, a gay rights charity founded on the principle of same sex attraction. LGBA sought to cater for LGB people who felt left behind when organisations such as Stonewall pivoted to 'same gender attraction' and began promoting the validity of male lesbians and female gay men.
While not ruling on whether Bailey's views - that sex was an observable reality, that people could not change sex, and that Stonewall's stance on gender theory was driving the erosion of women's rights, access to single sex spaces and lesbian identity - were correct, the tribunal found that they were all protected beliefs under the Equality Act.
However, Bailey lost the element of her claim in which she charged that Stonewall had attempted to induce Garden Court to take action against her.
Her allegation hinged around an email sent to the set by Kirrin Medcalf, Stonewall's Head of Trans Inclusion, in which he complained that "for Garden Court Chambers to continue associating with a barrister who is actively campaigning for a reduction in trans rights and equality, while also specifically targeting our staff with transphobic abuse on a public platform, puts us in a difficult position with yourselves: the safety of our staff and community will always be Stonewall’s first priority", adding, "I trust you will do what is right and stand in solidarity with trans people".
The tribunal, which was paused when Medcalf revealed that he needed a support dog and his mum with him to testify, concluded that although he was "alive to Stonewall’s soft power" via the organisation's Diversity Champions scheme, his email did not represent a threat to damage Garden Court's brand if it didn't take action against Bailey.
Bailey announced on Tuesday that she was appealing the Employment Tribunal's decision to dismiss her claim against Stonewall, stating, "Stonewall is not off the hook. Far from it".
A spokesperson for Stonewall said, "The recent decision by the Employment Tribunal found that Stonewall had NOT instructed, caused or induced Garden Court Chambers to discriminate against Allison Bailey. We have not been notified by the Employment Appeal Tribunal of any appeal by Allison Bailey, but should we receive this, we will defend ourselves robustly".