Trans pronoun ruling goes to appeal
- Date: Thursday 28th April 2022
- PDF: Download
A case currently at Employment Appeal Tribunal is one of a doctor who was dismissed for refusing to refer to trans people by their preferred pronouns. The doctor had unsuccessfully claimed religious discrimination and harassment at Tribunal following his dismissal from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The DWP’s policy states that transgender individuals should be referred to by their preferred name, gender pronoun and title. However, during a training course the doctor said that using pronouns which did not match a person’s sex at birth would be incompatible with his Christian faith.
He was dismissed for refusing to identify clients by their relevant gender instead of the sex that they were assigned at birth.
The doctor’s legal team argued that the DWP policy was a breach of the Equality Act and a breach of the individual’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. They argued that the doctor’s objection to transgenderism was based on a belief that it would be “irresponsible and dishonest for a health professional to accommodate or encourage a patient’s impersonation of the opposite sex.” It was further argued that the DWP discriminated against the doctor because of his belief in the truth of Genesis 1:27: “so God created man in his own image; in the image of God, he created him; male and female he created them.”
However, the doctor lost his case because the judge ruled that his beliefs were “incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically, transgender individuals.”
Ahead of the appeal the doctor stated the original ruling said to Christians that “you must believe in transgender ideology” which he stated was a totalitarian view and made Christianity and the Bible “out to be nothing.”
We will await the outcome with interest but even if the ruling finds in favour of the doctor it will not give employees a right to deliberately misgender a transgender person. They might still be subject to scrutiny or face disciplinary action for knowingly being unpleasant and offensive to trans people.
Source: Gavin Parrott