Maya Forstater, the tax expert who lost her job at a US think tank in the UK for tweeting that biological sex is real and that sex matters, has won her appeal.
This means that people who express "gender critical" beliefs, that sex is important, cannot be sacked or otherwise punished for it without their employer being legally liable.
Forstater brought the appeal against the first instance decision of an employment tribunal, which found that her belief in the social salience of sex was "unworthy of respect in a democratic society," and therefore not subject to discrimination protection.
Forstater received public support from the author and philanthropist JK Rowling who turned the case into a cause célèbre with a tweet.
A year ago today, Rowling published her essay on why she spoke out on sex and gender in support of Forstater. Today Rowling re-tweeted news of the decision from the Sex Matters campaign which Forstater co-founded to deal with the institutional fallout of cognitive capture.
Other public figures expressed their relief that the appeal was successful.
The employment appeal court judge held that:
"A philosophical belief would only be excluded for failing to satisfy Grainger V if it was the kind of belief the expression of which would be akin to Nazism or totalitarianism and thereby liable to be excluded from the protection of rights under Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) by virtue of Article 17 thereof. The Claimant's gender-critical beliefs, which were widely shared, and which did not seek to destroy the rights of trans persons, clearly did not fall into that category."
Forstater released a public video statement Thursday morning. She said:
"Under the European Convention on Human Rights, only the most extreme views—akin to totalitarianism, or Naziism—are excluded from protection, and the judge said that my belief—which is widely shared, and does not seek to destroy the rights of trans people—does not fall not that category. He said that 'a person is free in a democratic society to hold any belief they wish, subject to some modest, objective minimum requirements.' Being free to hold a belief means the freedom from being harassed, discriminated against, or having your livelihood taken away from you if you express that belief."
The news will be welcome by professionals and employees who find that the chilling effect of gender identity ideology hampers their ability to do their jobs properly. The culture of fear is at last beginning to thaw.
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