CONTROVERSY has been sparked over a National Lottery grant given to a group that has been accused of being anti-trans.

The National Lottery Community Fund announced that the LGB Alliance had been successful in receiving a grant to set up a support helpline for “young lesbian, gay and bisexual people and their families and friends”.

It said the helpline would be “intended to serve young people aged between 13 and 25” and would have the capacity to respond to as many as 60,000 calls a year.

The LGB Alliance said in a statement: "Currently there is no dedicated national service of this type for young LGB people in the UK and we are delighted that our proposed helpline will fill this gap in existing provision. 

READ MORE: Fresh leadership crisis for Boris Johnson as Welsh Tories look to split off

"We will use this grant to make an accurate assessment of need and to plan a robust and appropriate response, designed to support as wide a range of young LGB people, and their loved ones, as possible."

The group has previously been accused of being trans-exclusionary for dropping the “T” from the LGBT acronym.

LGB Alliance has a track record for courting controversy with its stance on trans issues. In one instance the group said that the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are “under threat” in the face of a campaign to replace sex with gender.

They have also previously violated Twitter’s policy on hateful conduct with a tweet that suggested that the “+” in LGBT+ would give "the green light to paraphilias like bestiality".

The group was further criticised after it called for "all strip clubs, saunas, massage parlours, fetish events and clubs with dark rooms" to be closed in reaction to the spread of monkeypox.

In the wake of these controversies, the more recent announcement of their National Lottery grant has sparked further outrage.

Rob McDowall, the chair of Welfare Scotland, said he would be raising his concerns about the grant with the Lottery.

He wrote: “As a former Grants Officer at the BIG Lottery Fund (the predecessor agency), I’ll be raising my concerns with the fund. I don’t see how this award to this organisation has come about.”

Scott Cuthbertson, a development manager for the Equality Network, wrote: “The National Lottery Community Fund is one of the most important funders in the LGBTQ space. It funds a huge number of local prides to national projects. 

“It’s deeply concerning to see the so called ‘LGB Alliance’ which has repeatedly attacked LGBTQ orgs receive funding.”

The National: National Extra Scottish politics newsletter banner

A Scottish Greens spokesperson also said they had concerns about the LGB Alliance being "a first point of contact" for young people.

They said: “LGB Alliance and its leaders have lobbied against the banning of conversion practices, called for LGBT clubs in schools to be banned, been accused of open biphobia and transphobia, and even sought to justify opposition to same-sex marriage.

“Scottish Greens share the concerns many in the LGBT community have about making them a first point of contact for vulnerable young people seeking help."

A spokesperson for the LGB Alliance said: "LGB Alliance is a registered charity whose goals are to promote equality and human rights for LGB people. All the publicly funded LGBTQIA+ groups now focus on the importance of gender identity, saying that feelings of gender identity should supersede anything to do with biological sex. That is why we need our own organisation and services.  

"LGB Alliance receives messages from young LGB people and their families asking for help. They ask where they can go. Where are the clubs or helplines for young people who want to socialise with others of the same sex, or talk to someone who can help with concerns about their sexual orientation. These spaces and services simply do not exist any longer. That is why we, and so many others who are able to see through the confusion spread by the main LGBTQIA+ organisations, welcome this decision by the Lottery.  

"Sexual orientation is a protected characteristic in the 2010 Equality Act. Young LGB people deserve services funded by the Lottery just as much as those of any other protected characteristic."

The National Lottery Community Fund has been contacted for comment.