Maya Forstater awarded over $136K after losing job for challenging trans ideology

Maya Forstater speaks to Sky News in an interview released on April 24, 2021.
Maya Forstater speaks to Sky News in an interview released on April 24, 2021. | Independent va Sky News

Maya Forstater, a British tax consultant who lost her job after asserting that biological sex is immutable, has been awarded over $100,000 in damages after an Employment Tribunal found that she had suffered “direct discrimination” and “victimization” at the hands of her employer.

The court stated that Forstater’s beliefs about biological sex were protected under national equality laws, The Christian Institute said, adding she was awarded £106,404 (about $136,000) after the Employment Tribunal ruled against the Centre for Global Development (CGD), her former employer.

The judges ruled that the CGD compared Forstater’s beliefs to “bigotry,” used “oppressive or high-handed conduct” during the legal proceedings, and violated employment laws.

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Forstater lost her job with the CGD’s London office in 2019 after tweeting that biology determines whether people are male or female. She was also accused of using “offensive and exclusionary” language when she referred to a convicted rapist who identifies as trans as a “man.”

“My case has exposed institutionalized discrimination against, and the routine abuse and smearing of, people with perfectly ordinary beliefs about the material reality of sex,” Forstater was quoted as saying. She added that while the judgment offered some closure, it had significantly impacted her family.

After the initial dismissal, Judge James Tayler ruled against Forstater in December 2019, stating that she was “absolutist in her view of sex.” He commented that her approach was “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.” However, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a government body in England and Wales, disagreed with Tayler’s decision and sided with Forstater at the time.

The commission contended that Tayler’s ruling at the Employment Tribunal had misinterpreted the law. It pointed out that the tribunal had wrongly made a value judgment on the validity of Forstater’s belief. It further argued that there could not be a justifiable basis in law for distinguishing between religious or philosophical beliefs.

Forstater, whose situation elicited support worldwide, most notably from Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling, promised at the time that she would challenge the ruling and had followed through, writing an essay in Medium that the implications of her case were profound.

Last month, the U.K.’s lawmakers from various political parties urged the government to restrict the term “sex” in the Equality Act 2010 to biological sex.

Forstater, who is now the executive director of Sex Matters, said, “We think that the only reading of the Equality Act that is consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights is one which maintains biological sex as a clear protected characteristic.”

A spokesperson for CGD responded to the tribunal’s ruling, saying, “CGD has and will continue to strive to maintain a workplace that is welcoming, safe, and inclusive to all. The resolution of this case will allow us once again to focus exclusively on our mission: reducing global poverty and inequality through economic research that drives better policy and practice.”

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