A British woman who lost her job for saying transgender women are “not women” and that a person’s sex cannot be changed won a battle against her ex-employer — after a court ruled that her views “must be tolerated.”
A High Court judge sided with Maya Forstater, 47, in her appeal against the Center for Global Development, which refused to renew her contract in March 2019 after colleagues complained about her controversial tweets, Sky News reported.
“I am delighted to have been vindicated. I lost my job simply for expressing a view that is true and important, and held by the great majority of people in this country: sex matters,” she said in a statement regarding the ruling in her favor last week.
Forstater, who lives in St. Albans, England, came under fire for her tweets in 2018 that said “male people are not women” and “sex is immutable.” She also wrote about opposing a proposed change to a law that would’ve let people declare their own gender.
She lost her initial case in 2019 when a judge declared that her views were “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
But on Thursday, a judge presiding over her appeal said the lower court “erred in law,” and that the “gender-critical beliefs” Forstater expressed were protected under the Equalities Act because they “did not seek to destroy the rights of trans persons,” the BBC reported.
The judge ruled that another hearing should be held in the tribunal, a legal body dedicated to employment disputes.
He wrote that though Forstater’s views “may well be profoundly offensive and even distressing,” they “must be tolerated in a pluralist society.”
The judge acknowledged that the transgender community may be disappointed by his ruling but said it had not “expressed any view on the merits of either side of the transgender debate,” the BBC reported.
“This judgment does not mean that those with gender-critical beliefs can ‘mis-gender’ trans persons with impunity,” the judge wrote.
“The claimant, like everyone else, will continue to be subject to the prohibitions on discrimination and harassment that apply to everyone else.”
Amanda Glassman, executive vice president for the Center for Global Development, called the decision “disappointing.”
“Today’s decision is a step backwards for inclusivity and equality for all. We’re currently considering the various paths forward with our lawyers,” Glassman said, Sky News reported.
Forstater previously received support from “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who has also received backlash for sharing similar views and tweeting, “Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”