A United Kingdom tribunal has ruled that a Christian doctor’s Biblical view of sex and gender is “incompatible with human dignity.”
In June 2018, Dr. David Mackereth, 56, was training to become a disability claim assessor at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when he mentioned that he would not refer to a biological man as a woman. Mackereth’s supervisors were alarmed by his comment, and in an email exchange, Mackereth’s boss gave him an ultimatum—use a patient’s preferred pronoun or no longer work for the DWP.
“I am a Christian and in good conscience cannot do what the DWP is requiring of me,” Mackereth replied.
He was then terminated.
Mackereth took the DWP to court, arguing that he had been discriminated against due to his Christian beliefs and that his rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion had been breached.
Last week in Birmingham, the tribunal panel ruled against Mackereth, saying, “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 tribunal acknowledged that Christianity is a protected class under the Equality Act 2010, but claimed that the belief that people are born either male or female and cannot change their sex is not a protected opinion.
“No doctor, or researcher or philosopher can demonstrate or prove that a person can change sex,” said Mackereth after the ruling. “Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function. My 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, the law firm that represented Mackereth, said that this will have “seismic consequences” for anyone in the workplace who shares their Biblical beliefs about sex and gender.
“It is deeply disturbing that this is the first time in history of English law that a judge has ruled that free citizens must engage in compelled speech,” she added.
Mackereth plans to appeal the decision.
“I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians to speak the truth,” he said. “If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practice of medicine in the U.K.”
Photo: Christian Concern