Free Pride Glasgow have returned funding and scaled back this year’s event after learning that the LGB Alliance had also been supported.
LGBTQ+ campaigners in Glasgow have hit out at a national funding group after support was offered to what they describe as a “transphobic hate group”.
Free Pride Glasgow, who take an “anti-capitalist, abolitionist approach” to pride events in the city, have been operating in the city since 2015 but have confirmed their will be reduced protests this year.
The move comes after funding was provided to the charity from The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF), via their Awards for All programme, to run the annual Pride event in Glasgow.
But Free Pride organisers have said they have now made the decision to reject and return this funding for this year due to The National Lottery’s decision to also award funding to the LGB Alliance.
In June LGB Alliance were awarded £9,000 to run a “helpline” for LGB youth.
The move was questioned by SNP MP John Nicolson, who said he could not “imagine a less appropriate group” to receive the funding, with the LGB Alliance’s registration as a charity being challenged in the courts.
Charity Mermaids and experts from the Good Law Project claim the alliance discriminates against transgender people.
Now, Free Pride have become the latest group to criticise LGB Alliance, and the National Lottery’s support of the group.
In a statement posted on social media, Free Pride Glasgow said: “Last year, Free Pride received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. After five years of relying entirely on community donations, receiving funding enabled us to run a bigger, better equipped event and pay the artists and community members we worked with fairly.
“When we applied for the Awards for All grant in 2021, we highlighted our focus on inclusivity and community-building, and this is ultimately why we were awarded funding. And so it was a huge disappointment to us to see this year that TNLCF decided to fund LGB Alliance, an organisation that works in direct opposition to these aims.
“This year we applied for funding again and were successful, however we were extremely disappointed to learn that The National Lottery had also decided to fund the LGB Alliance to run a ‘helpline’ for LGB Youth.”
Free Pride have claimed the LGB Alliance are “completely incompatible with TNLCF’s equality principles”.
They added: “The LGB Alliance are a transphobic hate group, and Free Pride has always been an event that has put trans people at its centre. We cannot accept funding from an organisation that is also funding transphobic activities and bigotry.
“LGB Alliance actively seeks to exclude trans people from LGBTQ spaces and services, and has consistently sought to misrepresent trans people and trans experiences via their campaigns and communications.
“We have returned our funding to The National Lottery and have sent a letter of complaint to the CEO and Scotland Director, asking them to reverse their decision to fund the LGB alliance. This does mean that we cannot run Free Pride at its usual scale this year.
“We’re sorry to the members of our community who will be disappointed by this. We’ll be organising a smaller get together for later in the summer and will share details soon, but wanted to keep you updated. You can read our full complaint at the link in our bio.”
TNLCF said the £9,000 funding for the LGB Alliance was for a project to scope the need, feasibility, constituent elements and operating parameters of a national advice service for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people aged 13 to 25.
A spokeswoman for The National Lottery Community Fund told TFN: “We are satisfied that this project meets our eligibility criteria for funding.
“All projects we fund must adhere to equalities legislation and the terms and conditions for each grant.
“We remain confident about our decision to make this award.”
The LGB Alliance denied the claims made by Free Pride Glasgow, telling TFN that they do not "campaign on trans people", either in Scotland or anywhere else, and that they “welcome respectful debate, and will happily discuss these issues with anyone”.
Kate Harris, co-founder of LGB Alliance told TFN: "We're sad to see that Free Pride Glasgow will not take place this year. This is a very important time for all LGB people in Scotland.”