'Edinburgh University’s LGBT network has resigned en masse after they were told they could not block a talk by the veteran feminist Julie Bindel.
The event, titled “Women’s Sex-Based Rights: what does and should the future hold?”, took place on Wednesday evening despite calls for its to be stopped on the basis that it was “transphobic”.
The university’s LGBT staff network and students launched a petition calling for the event to be cancelled immediately on the basis that it would put transgender people “at risk of physical and psychological harm”.
The event gives a platform to speakers with a “transphobic agenda”, the petition said.
“We disagree with the notion of transphobia as a legitimate academic debate," it went on. “We ask that the University of Edinburgh reconsiders hosting an event that will be so damaging to trans and non-binary people, as well as damaging to our wider academic community.”
The event, which was run by the university’s education, teaching and leadership institute, featured a panel discussion with feminist academics and Bindel as the keynote speaker.
Jonathan MacBride, who was the chair of the university’s LGBT staff network until the entire committee’s resignation this week, said the university had not consulted with them before approving the event and "instead of supporting us, supporting our position, they chose to censor us".
He said another reason for the committee's resignation was that the university failed to “give out any statement of support of its trans staff and students”.'
Read more: Edinburgh University’s LGBT network resign en masse amid row over Julie Bindel talk