A Christian doctor has been told by the British government that he will no longer be employed by the National Health Service, where he worked for 26 years, because he fails to identify transgender patients with their chosen pronouns.
David Mackereth told The Sunday Telegraph that he will not be serving as a Department for Work and Pensions disability assessor because of his belief, based on his faith and his profession, that gender is determined at birth, rather than something that can be chosen.
"I'm not attacking the transgender movement. But I'm defending my right to freedom of speech, and freedom of belief," Mackereth explained.
"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."
Mackereth, who is a Reformed Baptist, revealed that he underwent a training course in May for the DWP role, but was told that he must refer to patients as the gender they identify with. He was also told that gender is "fluid."
"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," he stated.
"The tutor took me aside and said he had passed my comments up the chain to the DWP."
Advanced Personnel Management, the agency that would have hired him out to the DWP, said in an email that Mackereth's position on gender "could be considered to be harassment as defined by the 2010 Equality Act."
The doctor explained that he can not change his beliefs and follow the demands, which led to his contract being terminated.
"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," Mackereth stated.
"By stating what has been believed by mankind for centuries — namely that gender and sex are determined at birth — you can come under ferocious attack."
The NHS has attracted controversy on a number of occasions this past year, including for new guidelines in January offering breast exams and cervical smear tests for men who identify as women despite not having a cervix.
Meanwhile, the NHS advised not sending invites to women who identify as men to have breast and cervical cancer screenings, out of fear that it would offend them.
"We've now got to the point where state collusion with this transgender agenda is endangering the health of women. It's a ludicrous use of NHS resources to invite men for a cervical smear test, while it's immoral and dangerous not to invite women," said Laura Perrins, a conservative women's campaigner.