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Christian doctor fired for refusing to call a transgender woman ‘she’ loses tribunal

Josh Milton October 3, 2019
Dr. David Mackereth, who even Piers Morgan once clashed with over this transphobic beliefs. (Screen capture via Good Morning Britain)

Dr. David Mackereth, who even Piers Morgan once clashed with over this transphobic beliefs. (Screen capture via Good Morning Britain)

After being sacked for refusing to call a trans woman by her pronouns, a Christian doctor has lost an employment tribunal.

Dr. David Mackereth, a disability claim accessor, claimed he was fired after saying he wold not call “any six foot tall bearded man, ‘madam'” during an “abstract discussion” with his manager.

The 56-year-old, from Dudley, West Midlands, alleged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) discriminated against his religious beliefs. This was after the DWP enforced the Equalities Act 20210 to turn down his job application.

As a claims assessor, he would assess the health of those applying for benefits, the main welfare system in the UK.

But a tribunal panel unanimously concluded that the doctor’s transphobic beliefs are “incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others”, the 42-page judgement read.

Christian doctor does not “believe” that trans people exist. 

The doctor pled his case to Judge Perry, heard at the Centre City Tower court in Birmingham.

He claimed no effort was made to accommodate his religious beliefs while also suggesting that trans clients at the city’s Five Ways assessment centre could have been referred to another healthcare provider.

Furthermore, he wished for “non-transgender claimants to assess” as an alternative and does not “believe” that a person can change their gender, witness statements showed.

Ultimately, the panel rejected his “contentious objection” to trans people, and slammed his “lack of belief”, court documents show.

Mackereth, who became a Christian in 1982, said that trans folk “may find my views to be offensive” yet claimed the discrimination was not deliberate.

However, the tribunal found “that his beliefs were likely to cause offence and have the effect of violating a transgender person’s dignity or creating a proscribed environment, or subjecting a transgender person to less favourable treatment”.

Doctor who refuses trans patients vows to appeal. 

The judgement also extensively referenced the DWP’s policy on gender reassignments: “[Trans individuals] should be treated with respect and referred to in their presented gender at all times.”

Mackereth, who was trained to assess eligibility for Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit, said he will appeal the decision

Moreover, Mackereth, who now works as an emergency doctor in Shropshire, said after the judgement: “Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended.

“I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians – and any other NHS member of staff – to speak the truth.”

A DWP spokesman said: “We acted to protect claimants from behaviour that would have failed to treat them with dignity, so we welcome this ruling.

“We expect all assessors to approach their work sensitively.”

Mackereth made headlines earlier this year after appearing on breakfast talkshow Good Morning Britain, where even Piers Morgan denounced the doctor’s views, labelling him a “bigot” live on television.

More: Trans, UK

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