I'm being sued by another trans rights activist
I'm being sued by another trans rights activist
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Hello everyone. I’m Graham Linehan, a comedy writer and director.
I'm the creator, co-creator, author, co-author and/or director of TV comedies such as ‘Big Train’, ‘Father Ted’, ‘The IT Crowd’, ‘Black Books’, ‘Count Arthur Strong’, ‘The Fast Show’, ‘Brass Eye’ and ‘Motherland’ and I adapted ‘The Lady Killers’ for the West End stage.
Over the last 5 years I've been involved in the fight against gender identity ideology and its potentially pernicious effect on: (1) women’s hard-won rights and spaces; (2) the rights of lesbians and gay men to be same-sex attracted; and (3) vulnerable children, who are being unnecessarily medicalised and pushed into irreversible surgeries.
Exponents of this ideology have, by various means, tried to force me to stop speaking out about it. However, I will not stand by while women are being stripped of their rights and intimidated into silence, while homosexual people are being vilified and abused, and while children are being convinced their body is ‘wrong’ and turned into lifelong medical patients.
The issues that concern me have been widely covered in the press, and most recently the scandal of placing specific individuals in women’s prisons in Scotland has been uncovered. This has exposed the fallacy behind the gender identity ideology, and the clear risk that can be caused to women by allowing self-identification to determine how society is required to treat individuals who were born male, but decide to identify as female.
I operate a Substack site and a YouTube channel on which I talk about these issues, drawing attention to the tactics of some of the more high-profile exponents of gender identity ideology, and have drawn attention to the harm that can be caused.
It is sometimes necessary to discuss the individuals who are this ideology’s most vociferous advocates, especially the ones trying to denigrate and silence those of us standing up for what we believe.
As you may know, I’m being sued by a man called David Paisley, who is alleging that I have libelled and harassed him via my website and social media accounts. I am fighting these unfounded allegations, with the help of my highly supportive legal team, and for that, I’m afraid, I will need to ask for help with the legal costs.
I should add that my legal team, which includes very experienced and highly regarded lawyers, has agreed to apply substantial discounts to the usual legal fees, to assist me as much as possible. Unfortunately, due to the amount of work that is required, the costs are still very high though. I’ll come to that after explaining more about this case.
Who is David Paisley?
David Paisley is an actor, who describes himself as an ‘LGBT advocate’. He is a very vocal supporter of gender identity ideology.
Under the guise of ‘trans activism’, he has used his social media profile to attack and vilify feminists and LGB groups who are standing up against the potential dangers of gender ideology.
By way of example, he attacked the registered charity, LGB Alliance, making groundless allegations that it is a ‘hate group’. He even set up a petition in an effort to rob it of any voice in the media.
When the LGB Alliance hosted an online discussion about gender identity ideology and its implications for gay men, Boyz Magazine promoted this event via its Twitter Account.
Simply because Boyz promoted a discussion of which he did not approve, David Paisley tried to sabotage the magazine by publicly tweeting its advertisers and the venues where it is distributed.
Even when Boyz capitulated and apologised for promoting a discussion about an issue affecting gay men’s rights (which it was perfectly entitled to do), this wasn’t good enough for David Paisley who then attacked the magazine’s editor, David Bridle.
David Paisley has also attacked and belittled the women who are trying to defend their hard-won rights and spaces including, most notably, lesbian feminist and child sexual abuse survivor, Ceri Black.
Paisley targeted Ceri after she wrote about her experiences of being a child sexual abuse survivor in the context of gender identity ideology potentially being used as a Trojan horse by predatory males to gain access to victims.
One of her Twitter threads caused Paisley to threaten her with libel. She removed the tweet which had offended him and assumed that would be an end of the issue. However, that wasn’t enough for Paisley.
She then discovered that Paisley had reported her to the police for allegedly having committed a transphobic hate crime, homophobic hate crime, harassment and for misuse of an electronic communications network.
That led to the Public Prosecutions Service of Northern Ireland (PPSNI) carrying out an investigation into Ceri. When the PPSNI sensibly decided not to take the matter any further, Paisley then took legal action himself against Ceri, suing her for libel and breach of confidentiality.
What is this case about?
Obviously, in recent years I have written about David Paisley and his attacks on gender critical women, gay men and LGB organisations. Consequently, he has now taken legal action against me, making various allegations.
Before I refer to the specific claim, I should mention that the first letter sent by his lawyers was on 1 February 2022, but he had already issued legal proceedings against me in December 2021 (without me knowing, and without having given any indication that proceedings were being issued).
The initial legal costs incurred by Paisley (as at March 2022) were already more than £70,000! I have no idea how much they are now, but it’s bound to be a far higher figure.
Paisley is claiming that defamatory statements have been made about him on my site which have libelled him and caused ‘serious harm to reputation’.
His various examples include content on my site written by me, articles written by other authors (including Ceri Black) and independent comments made by some of the site’s subscribers. The latter includes comments which have been deleted, and a comment to which I have replied instructing the poster specifically not to make such allegations.
Paisley is alleging that the content of my site pertaining to him has been calculated to cause ‘alarm and/or distress’ and was often ‘offensive and oppressive’ and amounts to harassment.
He’s also claiming that I ‘aided, incited and encouraged others to make abusive, degrading, humiliating, mocking, contemptuous, and oppressive statements’ about him.
MISUSE OF PRIVATE AND/OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
Because I made public that David Paisley had made a complaint and/or provided information to the police, he is claiming that I ‘misused’ his ‘private and confidential information’.
David Paisley is alleging that I have ‘unfairly’ ‘processed’ his ‘personal data’ by including items about him on my site and YouTube channel.
Whats The Bottom Line?
David Paisley is claiming damages for libel including aggravated damages, damages for harassment and/or misuse of private and/or confidential information, including aggravated damages and an injunction to prevent me from hosting the existing material about him on my site or from writing about him further in the future.
The damages he is claiming is £50,000.
He has also demanded that his costs should be paid on top of that. His legal costs were already £70,000 when I first became aware of this, so I expect that they will be a lot more than that now.
Of course, I am going to fight this case, not only because of the principle involved, but to prevent him from doing this to anybody else.
Sadly, this involves a huge amount of work to be carried out by me and also by my legal team, given the number of allegations that have been made by Paisley, all of which have to be carefully considered, and which often lead to a lengthy investigation of evidence.
I have worked with my legal team for years, and have huge confidence in their ability to ensure justice prevails.
I will, however, need help in meeting the necessary legal fees; fighting this potentially dangerous ideology has not been without cost to me, and I have been robbed of my means of earning a living for the last few years.
As I mentioned earlier, my legal team has applied a significant discount to the usual fees that would be charged, to help to shoulder some of the financial burden of this case, but there is still a substantial sum required to be able to cover all of the work.
The target for the funding is £100,000, with a stretch target of £150,000.
So, if you care about free speech and being able to challenge this uncompromising ideology without being intimidated into silence by its advocates, I’d be grateful if you considered donating. Any sum, however small, would be greatly appreciated.
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