Should an employer have the right to fire an employee who expresses the view that a trans woman can never be truly a female?
The Daily Mail article reads:
“ ‘I was just fighting for everyone’s right to hold an opinion’: Mother who lost her job for saying trans women can never be truly female speaks out after landmark court victory backed by JK Rowling”
“Ms Forstater, married with two teenage boys, is rather unremarkable in most respects. At least, she used to be. Then one day she was pitched into the front line of the nation’s culture wars when she lost her job for saying on Twitter that men cannot be women, something her bosses decided was ‘offensive’.”
“Ms Forstater, 47, who tweeted comments such as ‘woman means adult human female’, was accused of ‘fear-mongering’.”
“She offered her opinion on Karen White – a transgender prisoner, born male, with a history of sex offences, who sexually assaulted two women when he was placed in a female jail.
And she questioned the wisdom of giving a ‘gender fluid’ man, Credit Suisse director Philip Bunce, who occasionally dresses as a woman, an award for being one of the top 100 women in business. But a few days after broaching this subject, she received an email from the HR department saying concerns had been raised about her tweets.”
Of course concerns were raised about her tweets. If the Trans community is nothing else, it’s not backward in coming forward and often viciously mauling anybody who questions “trans” in any way, shape or form. It takes strength of character from management not to fall into the abyss of virtue signalling when Twitter and Facebook trolls attack.
“After she revealed her misfortune online, which prompted a wave of sympathy, Ms Forstater decided to fight back.
She raised more than £120,000 through crowdfunding for her legal action, and in November 2019 took her former employers to a tribunal.
After what her lawyer described as a six-day inquisition, the judge concluded that Ms Forstater’s view that biological sex is immutable was ‘absolutist’ and ‘not worthy of respect in a democratic society’.
“This decision was appealed and in a landmark decision last week, a UK High Court appeal judge overturned the tribunal decision, ruling that holding a view that biological sex never changes regardless of a person’s gender identification is a protected philosophical belief under equality law.”
Note: This is NOT a High Court ruling but a finding of the Employment Appeals Tribunal of which the Honourable Mr Justice Choudhury (a High Court Judge) is the President. The judgement is 61 pages long and consists of 119 clauses plus sub-clauses – but the final word is this:
“For these reasons, and notwithstanding Ms Russell’s powerful submissions to the contrary, it is our judgment that the Tribunal erred in law. In relation to the preliminary issue of whether the Claimant’s belief falls within s.10, EqA, we substitute a finding that it does. The matter will now be remitted to a freshly constituted Tribunal to determine whether the treatment about which the Claimant complains was because of or related to that belief.” (Author’s emphasis)
s.10, EqA refers to Section 10 of the UK Equality Act 2010.
The Employment Tribunal Employment Judge was scathing in his summation of the original claim. His conclusion that “The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society” raises important questions.
What does it mean for freedom of speech and perhaps more importantly, the right to freedom of political, philosophical or religious beliefs already enshrined in law certainly in the UK, and in much of the civilized world?
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