Christian doctor to challenge ruling on biblical view of gender
A Christian doctor is mounting a fresh legal challenge to overturn a ruling that the Bible's teaching on gender is not "worthy of respect in a democratic society".
Dr David Mackereth lost his job as a medical assessor for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2018 after refusing to refer to clients as their chosen gender.
He challenged his firing in 2019 but an Employment Tribunal in Birmingham ruled that his beliefs about gender based on Genesis 1:27 were not protected by equality laws and were "mere opinion".
The judge also concluded that his "wider faith" did not satisfy the 'Grainger criteria' - that a belief must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not be incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others.
The ruling said, "Belief in Genesis 1:27, 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, specifically here, transgender individuals."
Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Dr Mackereth, said the ruling must not be allowed to stand.
"This was an astonishing judgment and one that if upheld will have seismic consequences not just for the NHS and for Christians, but anyone in the workplace who is prepared to believe and say that we are created male and female," she said.
"The teaching of Genesis 1:27 is repeated throughout the Bible, including by Jesus Christ himself. It is fundamental to establishing the dignity of every human person but is, in a bizarre ironic twist, being branded as incompatible with that dignity."
Dr Mackereth is seeking to have the verdict in his case overturned after last year's landmark victory for Maya Forstater.
The researcher lost her job at a think tank after saying that people could not change their biological sex. When she challenged it, an Employment Tribunal said her view was "not worthy of respect in a democratic society". The judgment was later overturned at appeal.
The legal challenge brought by Dr Mackereth is to be heard at an Employment Tribunal on 28 and 29 March.
Speaking ahead of the hearing, Dr Mackereth said: "My case affects everyone, not just me and Bible-believing Christians, but anyone who is concerned by compelled speech and transgender ideology being enforced on the NHS and other public services.
"The judgment from two years ago said to Christians 'you have to believe in transgender ideology.' That is totalitarianism. It made out Christianity to be nothing, the Bible to be nothing. That cannot be allowed to stand."
He said doctors were being compelled to affirm transgender ideology in a "coercive" and "threatening way".
"No doctor, or researcher, or philosopher, can demonstrate or prove that a person can change sex," he said.
"Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended.
"As Christians we are not trying to be unkind to people in any way. As Christians we are called to love all people with Christian love. But we cannot love people truly when we live and disseminate a lie.
"If we are to tell patients that they need to 'follow the science', then we must not tell them that they can change sex."
Ms Williams added, "No protection is given to beliefs 'incompatible with human dignity' and 'not worthy of respect in a democratic society'.
"In the past this definition has only applied to the most extreme beliefs, such as those of Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis, and similar. It was and still is shocking that a judge should put the belief in the Bible in the same category.
"This ruling cannot stand. We are determined to fight as far as possible for justice and for it to be overturned."