Woman dismissed for transgender issues wins appeal

A woman who lost her job after the tweet was considered transphobia won an appeal in the London Employment Appeals Court.

Judgment (pdfThe one distributed on Thursday concludes that Maya Forstater’s belief in sexual immutability is equivalent to a philosophical belief and is therefore protected under the 2010 Equality Act (EqA). I am.

Judge Akhlaq Choudhur said the Fourstayer’s belief “may cause transgender crime in some circumstances, but the possibility of crime cannot be a reason to completely exclude the belief from protection. “.

He also said that “gender-critical beliefs” are not unique to Fourstayers.

“It’s a belief shared by others who think it’s important to have an open discussion on gender and gender identity issues,” Choudhury said.

However, according to the ruling, a person with a “gender-critical belief” could still be “harassed or discriminated against in the sense of EqA” if he “misunderstood” a transgender person. You may face a disclaimer.

The employer “will continue to be responsible,” he said. [subject to any defence under s.109(4), EqA] For acts of harassment and discrimination against transgender committed in the process of employment. “

Fourstayer, who worked as a tax expert at Center for Global Development (CGD), did not get a contract renewal in March 2019 after posting. Tweet We oppose the government’s proposal to reform gender approval legislation to allow people to be identified as the opposite sex without a medical diagnosis of gender identity.

A decision was made as a result of the investigation after some of her colleagues complained that her tweets were “transgender,” “exclusive or offensive,” and that the tweets made them feel “unpleasant.” It was given.

Fourstayer later brought her case to an employment referee because her dismissal constitutes discrimination against her beliefs, but employment judge James Taylor dismissed her claim (pdfOn December 18, 2019, she stated that her view was “an absolutist of her sexuality,” and as a result of that view, her approach was “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

Harry Potter’s author, JK Rowling, came out the next day in favor of Fourstayer. twitter: “Live the best life in peace and security. But do you drive women out of work to state that sex is real?”

After Fourstayer won the appeal on Thursday, Rolling reiterated her support by sharing the Fourstayer’s victory tweet.

Maya Fourstayer Employment Appeals Court
Maya Fourstayer. Dateless handouts issued April 27, 2021. (PA)

Fourstayer said she felt “proven” after winning the appeal.

“I’m glad it’s been proven. In a statement, Fourstayers lost their jobs just to express their true and important views, and the” sexual problems “that most people in the country have. Said.

“Being a woman is a material reality. It’s neither a costume nor a feeling. An institution pretending to be sex is a hostile place, especially for women,” she added.

“After this ruling, employers and service providers who ignore gender and silence women who oppose them are substantively legal to face if they are acting illegally and if they do not change their approach. You need to consider the risks. “

Amanda Glassman, executive vice president of CGD, a former employer of Forstater, called this decision a “step back.” [sic] For the inclusiveness and equality of all. “

“The decision is disappointing because we believe that Judge Taylor correctly determined that this kind of offensive speech harmed transgender people and therefore could not be protected under equality before the law. It’s amazing, “she said in a statement.

“We are currently working with lawyers on different paths.”

In response to the ruling, Baroness Kishwar Falkner, chairman of the Commission on Equality and Human Rights, said that people must be free to hold their beliefs.

“Some may consider the beliefs of others to be suspicious or controversial, but people need to keep them free. That’s why this case is so important.” She said.

“It provides the clarity that people are free to hold their beliefs and should not be discriminated against for them even if others may find their beliefs uncomfortable.” She said.

“There is a difference between holding a belief and how it is expressed. We are all responsible for what we say and do.”

According to Forstater, MP Rosie Duffield, Baroness Tanni Gray-Thompson, Lord Philip Hunt, athletes Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies, actors Joe McGann, writers Joan Smith and Trevor Phillips, and broadcasters Jenni Murray and Jonathan Ross are her supporters.

PA contributed to this report.

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