In the UK, a government-employed doctor named Dr. David Mackereth was fired for having the belief that gender is determined by biology, not how someone feels.
After working for the National Health Service (NHS) for 26 years, Mackereth was told that he could not be employed as a Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) disability assessor unless he agreed to identify patients with their chosen sex, even when contrary to their biology.
Dr. Mackereth, a 55-year old father and reformed Baptist, is claiming that his rights to free speech and religious freedom are being violated.
“I don’t believe I should be compelled to use a specific pronoun. I am not setting out to upset anyone. But, if upsetting someone can lead to doctors being sacked then, as a society we have to examine where we are going.” – David Mackereth
As a disability assessor, David would have had to interview individuals seeking disability benefits and write reports about their health and the nature of their disabilities.
However, after starting the training course to become a disability assessor in May, Dr. Mackereth was deemed ‘unfit’ when he refused to agree with his instructor that gender is ‘fluid’ and was told he must identify people as their preferred gender.
“I said that I had a problem with this. I believe that gender is defined by biology and genetics. And that as a Christian the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female. I could have kept my mouth shut. But, it was the right time to raise it.” – Dr. Mackereth
Mackereth was taken aside by the tutor and told that his comments were passed up the chain to the DWP and was told in an email by the Advanced Personnel Management (APM) that he would have to refer to clients as their chosen sex or it “could be considered to be harassment as defined by the 2010 Equality Act”.
The UK Equality Act protects individuals with ‘protected characteristics‘ from “unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them”.
Religion is also considered a protected characteristic under the relatively new law, however Dr. Mackereth’s religious right to refer to individuals by their biological sex is allegedly not covered under the law.
“If we are no longer allowed to say that you believe sex and gender are the same and are determined at birth, everyone who holds my views can be sacked on the spot under this Act. I’m not an isolated case.” – Dr. Mackereth
The APM declined to comment on the situation, but a DWP spokeswoman claimed that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person’s preferred gender.
“Dr. Mackereth made it clear during his training that he would refuse to use pronouns which did not match his own view of a person’s biological gender… We expect all assessors to handle assessments sensitively and adhere to the Equality Act 2010.” – DWP Spokeswoman
David considers himself “in good conscious” in adhering to his beliefs and “defending [the] right to freedom of speech, and freedom of belief.”
This is not the first instance of questionable ethics surrounding gender expression in the UK. In June, a secondary school named Chiltern Edge made the decision to ban shorts for male students during the summer, instead telling them to wear skirts if they did not want to deal with the heat in long trousers.
In both cases, the UK Equality Act likely played a role in the decision to restrict the expression of individuals not considered to have the right ‘protected characteristics’.
“Firstly, we are not allowed to say what we believe. Secondly, as my case shows, we are not allowed to think what we believe. Finally, we are not allowed to defend what we believe.” – Dr. David Mackereth
Photo credit: Andrew Fox, The Telegraph
This article (UK Government Fires Doctor for Believing Gender is Determined at Birth) was originally published by Phillip Schneider and may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author credit, and this copyright statement.