A legal ruling in the United Kingdom should inspire celebration and courage as well as spark cautious hope among Americans who hold traditional beliefs about gender and sexuality.
Maya Forstater, the U.K. woman who lost her contract employment after tweeting so-called “gender-critical views” is set to receive a payout of £100,000—equivalent to $108,965—after a decision by an employment tribunal.
Three London judges said Forstater should receive a large sum in compensation, including interest, to reflect “lost earnings, injury to feelings and aggravated damages” after her employer’s decision not to renew her contract following her controversial remarks on gender and sex.
Forstater tweeted: “I have received the ‘remedy’ judgement in my case. @cgdev has been ordered to pay over £100k in compensation for loss of earnings, injury to feelings and aggravated damages for their high-handed conduct. Thank-you to everyone who supported my case.”
Forstater told The Times in London that the June 30 ruling “sends a message to employers that this is discrimination like any other discrimination.”
In the U.K., a person can make a claim to an employment tribunal if she thinks an employer, potential employer, or trade union has treated her unlawfully. The tribunal is independent of the government.
A remedy judgment is the result of a previous hearing on the amount of compensation that should be awarded to the person who makes a successful claim. Forstater’s hearing was in March.
This is an excellent sign for free speech advocates in the U.K., as well as those who embrace more orthodox views of sex and gender. The employment tribunal’s ruling comes as part of a small shift in the direction of caution that the U.K. appears to be making on the topic of gender fluidity, transgender medical treatments, and other transgender-related issues.
In summer 2022, the U.K.’s National Health Service announced it would close the world’s largest pediatric gender clinic, the Tavistock. An independent review said the clinic wasn’t “a safe or viable long-term option” and its treatment plans left minors’ mental health “at considerable risk.”
Unfortunately, the closing of Tavistock has been delayed a year, and treatment continues for the gender clinic’s roughly 1,000 young patients. There is still a long way to go to ensure minors are safe from life-altering treatment they could later regret.
Forstater’s story of speaking out against gender fluidity has become well known in the United Kingdom and beyond, catching the attention of “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. Herself under fire for questioning transgenderism, Rowling became an ally and tweeted her congratulations when Forstater announced she’d celebrate her husband’s birthday and the good news with champagne.
Forstater was a tax expert with the Centre for Global Development, a think tank, when she began writing tweets arguing that people are unable to change their biological sex.
Her contract wasn’t renewed in March 2019 as a result of her stating obvious truths that most of society believed until the past few years.
Forstater says she believes biological sex is immutable
She has experienced quite an odyssey on behalf of traditional beliefs. She lost her original case in 2019, when a tribunal judge told her that her approach to gender issues was “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
She appealed. Two years later, High Court Justice Akhlaq Choudhury ruled that gender-critical views may be “profoundly offensive and even distressing to many others,” but “they are beliefs that are and must be tolerated in a pluralist society” and are protected under the Equality Act of 2010.
The fact that Forstater created any controversy at all is a demonstration of how gender fluidity has taken hold in the U.K. For merely stating traditional beliefs about sex and gender, she lost her contract work and attracted the limelight for several years in this entire debacle.
The U.K. tribunal’s new ruling, finding that Forstater faced unlawful discrimination and should be compensated for her job loss, is good news for free speech and orthodox beliefs.
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