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Researcher loses employment case over transgender tweets

February 2020

Maya Forstater
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A researcher who did not have her contract renewed after she said people cannot change their biological sex has lost her case at an employment tribunal.

Judge James Tayler ruled that Maya Forstater’s views did ‘not have the protected characteristic of philosophical belief’.

Forstater, 45, posted a series of tweets questioning government plans to let people declare their own gender.

She believes trans women holding certificates that recognise their transgender identity cannot describe themselves as women.

She worked as a tax expert at the think tank Center for Global Development, but her contract was not renewed.

Now a judge in an employment tribunal said that her opinion about transgenderism is ‘not worthy of respect in a democratic society’.

However, author J.K. Rowling and ex-Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies have spoken in her defence.

Rowling wrote that women should not be ‘forced out of their jobs for stating that sex is real’, while Davies said sex is a ‘scientific fact’.

Forstater said, ‘All I ever wanted on this was for people to be able to talk about the policy questions around sex and gender identity in a normal, open, democratic way’.

Her solicitor said, ‘The significance of this judgment should not be downplayed.

‘Had our client been successful, she would have established in law protection for people – on any side of this debate – to express their beliefs without fear of being discriminated against.’