Protected beliefs under equality law

Speaking of firing people for not believing that men are women

An internationally renowned researcher on tax avoidance is believed to be the first person in Britain to lose her job for saying that transgender women are not women.

Maya Forstater, 45, was told by her managers that she had used “offensive and exclusionary” language.

Forstater has begun employment tribunal proceedings against her former employer, the London office of the Centre for Global Development (CGD) think tank. She hopes it will be a test case establishing that “gender-critical” views — which hold that being a woman is a biological fact, not a feeling — are protected beliefs under equality law. She is starting an appeal on the Crowdjustice website to raise £30,000 for the action.

It’s beyond me how people can justify firing a woman for holding that being a woman is a biological fact, not a feeling.

She is backed by Index on Censorship, whose director, Jodie Ginsberg, said: “From what I have read of her writing, I cannot see that Maya has done anything wrong other than express an opinion that many feminists share — that there should be a public and open debate about the distinction between sex and gender.”

In an email, a CGD manager said: “You stated that a man’s internal feeling that he is a woman has no basis in material reality. A lot of people would find that offensive and exclusionary.”

CGD said it could not discuss staffing matters, but all staff “are expected to uphold our respectful workplace policy”.

It’s true that a lot of people would find that offensive and exclusionary, but then it’s also true that lot of people would find pretty much anything you can think of offensive and [insert relevant second problematico-word here]. It should take more than that to justify firing anyone.

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