As promised this is a record of Nancy Kelley’s interview with Emma Barnett. You can listen to it here:
Here is a transcript.
The interview opens with a soft question about why Kelley wanted to become the CEO for Stonewall to which Nancy gives a predictable answer about wanting to “give back”. During the course of the interview we learn that Nancy is in a fifteen year marriage, to an American woman . They then covers a Lesbian couple and their fight to get access to in vitro-fertilisation. Then the interviewer, Emma Barnett dives in to the most controversial topic.
Nancy’s agrees that the BBC needs to be seen to be impartial but this part of the answer might be called disingenuous /damage limitation give Stonewall, at this time was haemorrhaging participants in its various, money making schemes. 👇
Barnett is not letting Kelley get away with that and responds “But, the sense where you said the BBC doesn’t agree with itself, well it obviously did, it pulled out”. She then goes on to make a really good point that all these organisations are actually paying money to a lobby group, to be lobbied. It is worth a reminder, at this stage, of how Ruth Hunt described these schemes. It was not flattering to the participants, it made them look rather gullible.
Nancy plays down the role of Stonewall schemes explaining that they have one strand of work to help firms become more “inclusive” (She uses this word repeatedly and I would have preferred for her to be pushed on what this means. To me, now, it means make sure men can invade female spaces). Then they have a “completely separate” team the lobby politicians and work with the media. Barnett presses her on this and Kelley conceded the two teams nevertheless have the same goals.
Next Kelley is tackled on the detail of the Workplace Equality Scheme and, in particular that Stonewall evaluate submissions from the scheme participants and suggest ways they can get an improved score. Following Stonewall “suggestions” helps get your company higher up the rankings and there will be entire teams who are set a performance objective to complete for an improved place on the Workplace Equality Index.
Nancy is also keen to emphasise that membership doesn’t compromise editorial integrity, at the BBC, which stretches credulity to breaking point. Kelley denies that the BBC is aggressively pro-trans rights and, in fact, argues it tips the other way. Nancy maintains their role is only advisory and they do not have control over what an organisation does. Furthermore she says she only wishes she had more influence.
Stonewall and the Scottish Government.
Next Barnett tackles Kelley about a leaked Freedom of information request, that illustrates how Stonewall encouraged the Scottish government to drop the word “Mother” from its maternity leave policy. Kelley insists that she doesn’t want the word “mother” eradicated, as a mum herself. She claims the FOI document is historic and Stonewall give a range of advice leaving it up to their scheme members to decide the course of action.
Barnett points out that the document is only two years old and that Stonewall did push to remove “all gendered language” from the Maternity policy and raises this with Kelley:
Next Nancy denies that Stonewall have an interest in changing language and illustrates this beautifully by talking about “cis” and “trans”. This was in response to a direct question about whether she believes people can change their biological sex. She avoids saying no or yes by talking about changing sex characteristics and claiming that everyone knows that “trans” bodies and “cis” bodies are different.
Next Kelley is asked about Stonewall’s acceptance of male lesbians or “transbian’s” or females who identify as gay men. This section covers what Nancy had to say about lesbians who exclude males from their dating pools. Nancy lumps a belief in biological sex, women’s rights to exclude men from our spaces and Lesbians refusal of “lady penis” is on a par with anti-semitism”. 👇
This speaks to the right of lesbians to exclude men from their dating pools and has particular impact on dating apps and attempts to have Lesbian only events. This is no longer a hypothetical scenario: Tasmania a Lesbian groups has recently been told their women only, Lesbian nights are now illegal.
Nancy alleges that she was not talking about dating practices and that her wording was rather clumsy. This would be believable we’re it not for the fact that numerous trans-activists have used exactly the same argument.
Barnett then digs up another quote from Nancy :
Then we get onto Kelley’s dating preferences. A moot point because she is safely married. She claims to respect either people’s dating preferences and that she is “trans-inclusive”. Pretty confident this is a big fat lie and she knows she won’t have to walk the walk. This is the most despicable betrayal of Lesbians, especially newly out, young Lesbians.
Nancy slips in a “trans women are women” during this spiel and Barnett asks her if she is talking metaphorically. Kelley simply answers “literally”.
There follows a brief reference to the protection of Gender Critical beliefs which is clearly about the Forstater case but Barnett does not name it. Nancy ties herself in knots acknowledging that “Gender Critical” beliefs may be protected but there are limitations in how you express them. What Kelly would like is to create a world where you are allowed to think these things but you should not verbalise them.
Is JK Rowling a transphobe?
This section interrogates Kelley’s views on the world famous author. She tries to duck the question but ends up going round in circles about whether Rowling is a “transphobe” but, in the end, claiming that she had a large platform and had said things that had “caused harm” to trans people. Barnett does quite a good job in this section as she pushes Kelley to explain what she has said that was “transphobic”. Kelley pretty much ends up agreeing that an individual woman has the right to a single sex service if she has been raped or suffered domestic violence but still implies there is something wrong with saying this in the public square. I think she skewers Nancy in this bit and she does sound a bit petulant in places.
This section was less satisfactory. Nancy manages to come across as reasonable and she expresses empathy for what Kathleen went throug, but, there are some very big buts. Barnett seems unwilling to raise the fact that Kathleen is a Lesbian, who Stonewall should protect. I think this made this section weaker than it should be. Stonewall’s CEO should have asked why they were silent on the harassment of a Lesbian.
Kelley affects to know little about the Stock case and falls back on the idea that Universities are responsible for adjudicating on staff issues. The Stonewall model seems to be built on encouraging their clients to over-extend/break the law and then running away when they’re are consequences. Any organisation still paying to be in this protectionless, protection racket needs to get a new head of Human Resources.
The interview ends with some general talk about how Stonewall are working to protect LGBTQ+ kids in school.
Barnett ends the interview but added a couple of postscripts. Confirmation that Stonewall had attempted to get the word “mother” dropped from a maternity leave policy. The Scottish government claim they have not removed the word. Finally a, dignified, “no comment” from the Rowling team.
This piece is part of a series on Nancy Kelley’s public utterances. There’s not as much in the public domain as there is on Ruth Hunt. You can find the Nancy Kelly series and Ruth Hunt, former CEO, below.
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