A woman who lost her job after claiming that people could not change her biological gender claimed that her view was a “material reality,” the Court of Appeals for Employment heard.
Maya Forstatter’s contract wasn’t renewed in March 2019 after posting a tweet against the government’s proposal to reform gender recognition legislation so that people could be identified as the opposite sex. Through her QC on Tuesday, she reiterated her view that biological sex is “realistic, important, immutable and should not be confused with gender identity.”
Forstatter said he was “encouraged” and “concerned” that children could “change sex, or simply become members of the opposite sex … at an early age.”
Harry Potter’s author, JK Rowling, previously tweeted in favor of the plaintiff, tweeting:
“But do you drive women out of work to say that sex is real?”
Forstatter, who worked as a tax expert at the Center for Global Development (CGD), an international think tank that campaigns against poverty and inequality, said her dismissal constitutes discrimination against her beliefs. I brought the proceedings to the Employment Court.
However, employment judge James Taylor previously dismissed her claim that her view was “absolutist in her view of sex.”
Ben Cooper QC, who represents Forstater at the Virtual Employment Appeals Court, said her view was “… based on basic scientific facts.”
Cooper said: “Ignoring them or pretending to be untrue is detrimental to the protection of honest, just and just society, especially women’s rights. These beliefs do not include moral judgment and … It does not deny transgender rights or status, or protection from discrimination. Children and young people are encouraged to make these decisions at an early age and may be transsexual or simply become members of the opposite sex. I’m worried that I’m being led to believe that it’s possible. “
Cooper added: “This is not a race for who is being treated worse or who is more angry with the beliefs of the other person. With the right test, the beliefs of the complainant will be respected in a democratic society. There is no doubt that it meets the relevant thresholds that deserve it. She accepts it. [trans people] It should be protected from discrimination. “
Cooper said Forstater “uses a person’s preferred pronoun” in most social situations, but “when relevant, it’s important to be able to refer to someone’s biological gender.” “.
The lawyer continues: “The petitioner’s belief is that being transgender is in a different category than sex.” Women mean adult human women, “” transgender women are men, “and so on. Is inherent in the belief that her statement is a statement of fact that is neutral to her. “
Judge Taylor ruled against Forstatter in a decision on page 26 in 2019, stating that her view “did not have the protected features of philosophical beliefs.”
He concluded that Forstater has no right to ignore the legal rights of transgender people and “the enormous suffering that can be caused by mistaking a person’s gender.”
This controversy is seen as a test case of whether the “gender-critical” view, the belief that there are only two biological genders, is a “philosophical belief” protected under the 2010 Equality Act. It was done.
“It is fundamentally illegal to assemble the issue of transgender inclusion as an argument that men should be allowed into women’s space, disregarding women’s right to privacy,” Forstater said. Insisted. [it is like forcing Jewish people to eat pork].. “
In a statement issued prior to the Court of Appeals’ decision, Amanda Glassman, CGD Europe’s Chief Executive Officer and CGD’s Vice President, said: While having legal rights, it also causes personal distress.
“We look forward to the Employment Appeal Tribunal supporting the original decision and moving on to the next proceeding.”
The Employment Appeals Court, which is expected to last for two days, continues.
By Josh Payne