A U.K. employment tribunal ruled July 6 that Maya Forstater, a British tax expert, was a victim of direct discrimination when the think tank Centre for Global Development (CGD) refused to renew her contract following a series of tweets in which she questioned the government’s plans to allow people to self-identify as another gender.
The tribunal also decided that Forstater suffered victimization when her profile was removed from CGD’s website.
In 2019, an employment tribunal ruled that Forstater’s views on gender were not “worthy of respect in a democratic society” and were “incompatible with human dignity and [the] fundamental rights of others.”
But in 2021, an employment appeal tribunal ruled that “gender-critical” views were protected under the Equality Act 2010, overturning the previous ruling. The appeal tribunal then ordered a new employment tribunal to review the case.
The July 6 decision upheld the appeal ruling, noting that Forstater’s complaints of mistreatment by CGD under the Equality Act were “well-founded.”
A press summary explained that “[CDG’s] decisions not to offer Ms. Forstater a full contract of employment and not to renew her Visiting Fellowship were taken at least in part because of her belief, and therefore amounted to direct discrimination.”
The summary also made clear that “CGD had failed to provide an adequate explanation for the removal of Ms. Forstater’s profile from their website.”
Responding to the decision, Forstater said: “My case matters for everyone who believes in the importance of truth and free speech. We are all free to believe whatever we wish. What we are not free to do is compel others to believe the same thing, to silence those who disagree with us or to force others to deny reality.
“Human beings cannot change sex. It is not hateful to say that.
“We have had enough of being sidelined in language, law, policy and public spaces. This judgment is further evidence that the tide is turning,” she concluded.
“Harry Potter” author JK Rowling, who has been a staunch supporter of Forstater despite public backlash, also commented on the ruling:
“Every woman who’s been harassed, silenced, bullied or lost employment because of her gender critical beliefs is freer and safer today, thanks to the warrior that is Maya Forstater,” she tweeted.
Above: (L-R) Maya Forstater and JK Rowling
Photo: Maya Forstater Twitter