Religion

Christian doctor says ‘gender critical’ Maya Forstater ruling gives him right to misgender

Vic Parsons February 14, 2022
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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 his transphobic beliefs. (Screen capture via Good Morning Britain)

A Christian doctor is appealing to the High Court to fight for his right to misgender trans people.

David Mackereth, 59, is an A&E doctor of 30 years. In 2019 her lost an employment tribunal case in which he argued that it went against his Christian beliefs to use the correct pronouns for trans people while at work.

Mackereth was training to be a disability assessor for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2018 when he said he would not call “any six foot tall bearded man, ‘madam'” during an “abstract discussion” with his manager.

The DWP terminated his employment process during its initial training period, with a spokesperson at the time saying: “Dr Mackereth made it clear during his training that he would refuse to use pronouns which did not match his own view of a person’s biological gender. We expect all assessors to handle assessments sensitively and adhere to the Equality Act 2010.”

Mackereth was supported by the Christian Legal Centre – an anti-abortion, anti-equal marriage project of Christian Concern, a leading Evangelical organisation.

Ahead of his appeal at the High Court, Mackereth told the Daily Mail that his case “affects everyone, not just me and Bible-believing Christians, but anyone who is concerned by compelled speech and transgender ideology”.

His legal team believes that the Maya Forstater ruling, which saw an employment appeal tribunal rule that “gender critical” beliefs are protected under the Equality Act, will change the verdict.

In Forstater’s case, Mr Justice Choudhury said that her “gender critical” view falls under the protected characteristic of “religion or belief” in the Equality Act 2010 – but warned that this does not mean that people with “gender critical” views “can ‘misgender‘ trans persons with impunity”.

Mackereth’s lawyers will use this ruling to argue the “conclusion that Christian religion itself was not a protected characteristic simply cannot be right”.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “This was an astonishing judgment and one that if upheld will have seismic consequences not just for the NHS and for Christians, but anyone in the workplace who is prepared to believe and say that we are created male and female.

“The teaching of Genesis 1:27 is repeated throughout the Bible, including by Jesus Christ himself. It is fundamental to establishing the dignity of every human person but is, in a bizarre ironic twist, being branded as incompatible with that dignity.”

A DWP spokesman said: “We cannot comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”

David Mackereth employment tribunal

David Mackereth claimed the DWP had breached his right to freedom of religion when it terminated his contract over his refusal to use the correct pronouns for trans people in the workplace.

He lost, with the 2019 employment tribunal saying that Mackereth’s view of gender was “incompatible with human dignity”.

The tribunal said that “[Mackereth’s] 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” and that his biblical beliefs about men and women were not protected by the Equality Act but were “mere opinion”.

“A lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others,” the judgement said.

Unsurprisingly, Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan – never one to miss an opportunity to bash trans people – waded into the resulting media circus. Surprisingly, though, Morgan seemed to disagree with Mackereth’s position, calling him a “bigot“.

Asked to define “bigot” by Mackereth, Morgan described it as someone who is “woefully intolerant of people who go through an extraordinarily long and painful transition process, both physically and psychologically”.

Morgan continued: “They do it because fundamentally they believe they were born in the wrong body, the wrong gender, the wrong sex… Shouldn’t you just find it in your Christian heart to actually respect that?”

Mackereth replied: “If I’m a bigot then the whole of Christianity throughout history is bigotry. I don’t believe that, I believe Christianity is the truth of God.”

 

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