Maya Forstater returns to court to defend free speech on transgenderism

Maya Forstater

Maya Forstater, the former think tank researcher fired over trans-critical tweets, is back in court this week to defend her right to free speech. 

Forstater lost her job at the Centre for Global Development (CGD) after tweeting her opposition to gender self-identification, and stating that "men cannot change into women".

She took the non-profit to court claiming that CGD's actions breached equality laws, but she lost her case at a hearing in December 2019, when the judge ruled that her tweets were "offensive and exclusionary".

She is appealing the verdict at a two-day hearing beginning on Tuesday. 

"Ultimately, what it comes down to is an attack on my right to free speech. Can you really compare what I believe in – that sex is a biological reality – to the truly evil beliefs of the Nazis?" she told The Telegraph ahead of the hearing. 

She went on to say that it was not transphobic to question transgender ideology.  

"People say something reasonable and measured and they get jumped on and told they are transphobic and then they are supposed to say, 'I am sorry I will educate myself.' If you say, 'No, I don't think that is transphobic,' then it ramps up and you will get complaints to HR – it's like McCarthyism," she said. 

JK Rowling is among the people who have spoken out in support of Forstater.

She previously tweeted, "Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who'll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill." 

Rowling has herself faced a backlash and calls for a boycott of her books over her views on transgenderism. Despite the pressure, she has refused to change her stance.