In a high-profile legal case – thanks to JK Rowling – brought by tax researcher Maya Forstater, a judge has ruled that “gender critical” views qualify as a protected belief under UK equalities law.
Along with “gender critical” views, legally protected beliefs include ethical veganism, the belief in the “higher purpose” of the BBC, and the belief in the ability of spiritual mediums to contact the dead.
It is unsurprising, really, that Maya Forstater managed to establish “gender critical” views as a protected philosophical belief under the protected characteristic of “religion or belief” in the Equality Act 2010. As the judge said today, any philosophical beliefs short of “Nazism or totalitarianism” can be afforded the protection of the law.
But while the mainstream media has simplified the case beyond recognition or outright lied about what it was even about, what does the ruling actually mean for transgender people?
In practical terms: not much. As the Trades Union Congress said in a statement: “Employers have a responsibility to keep all their staff, including trans and non-binary workers, safe from discrimination and harassment. As the judgement has highlighted, this case does not change that.”
One of the worst parts will be the transphobic media circus, which may take some days to die down. Other anti-trans campaigners will likely be emboldened by Forstater’s victory – indeed, she’s already been congratulated by Caroline Farrow, whose view is that in making it clear that “gender critical” views are protected, Maya Forstater has also helped protect those with beliefs about the “sanctity of life“.
Today’s ruling overturns a 2019 employment tribunal judgment that said Maya Forstater had not been directly discriminated for holding “gender critical” views, because her views were not a protected belief as they were “not worthy of respect in a democratic society”.
Forstater brought the case against the Center for Global Development (CGD), where she formerly worked on a consultancy basis, claiming the think-tank had discriminated against her by failing to renew her contract after colleagues complained about her anti-trans tweets.
She said she had been discriminated against for having “gender critical” views. On Twitter and in workplace Slack messages, Maya Forstater was vocal about being “gender critical”, which possibly can be best summed up by her saying that the phrase “trans women are women” is a “literal delusion”.
Now that “gender critical” views are established as a protected belief, Forstater’s case will go back to the employment tribunal where she will argue again that she lost her job because of her “gender critical” views.
Source : https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/06/10/maya-forstater-gender-critical-equality-act-trans-people-transphobia/470