A Christian doctor is challenging a legal judgment which ruled that Christian biblical beliefs on gender are not ‘worthy of respect in a democratic society’ and are ‘incompatible with human dignity.’
Dr Mackereth was sacked as a medical assessor for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2018 after refusing to identify clients by their chosen gender instead of their biological sex.
In July 2019, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, he took his case to an Employment Tribunal in Birmingham claiming harassment and discrimination based on his Christian beliefs.
Dr Mackereth, who's 58, said during proceedings that he was asked in a conversation by his line manager: “If you have a man six foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs’, would you do that?”
Dr Mackereth, who now works as an NHS emergency doctor, said that in good conscience he could not do this. His contract was subsequently terminated.
Dr Mackereth’s lawyers argued in court that the DWP policy of compelling staff to use ‘transgender pronouns’ was a breach of the Equality Act and that the DWP had breached Dr Mackereth’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
However, in October 2019, Employment Judge Perry handed down a ruling which said that Dr Mackereth’s belief in Genesis 1:27 was not a belief protected by the Equality Act 2010 and was ‘mere opinion.’
Ahead of the hearing, Dr Mackereth, said: “My case affects everyone, not just me and Bible-believing Christians, but anyone who is concerned by compelled speech and transgender ideology being enforced on the NHS and other public services.
“The judgment from two years ago said to Christians ‘you have to believe in transgender ideology.’ That is totalitarianism. It made out Christianity to be nothing, the Bible to be nothing. That cannot be allowed to stand.
“It is a difficult issue for everyone in the NHS. There has been an explosion of patients identifying as transgender. The ideology to affirm them is enforced in a complex, coercive, and threatening way.
“Everyone in the NHS should be able to say publicly without fear that a person cannot change sex, but instead we are being forced to accept a massive change to our concept of the medical reality of sex, with no scientific basis for that change.
“As Christians we are not trying to be unkind to people in any way. As Christians we are called to love all people with Christian love. But we cannot love people truly when we live and disseminate a lie.
“If we are to tell patients that they need to ‘follow the science’, then we must not tell them that they can change sex.”
Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “This was an astonishing judgment and one that if upheld will have seismic consequences not just for the NHS and for Christians, but anyone in the workplace who is prepared to believe and say that we are created male and female.
“This ruling cannot stand. We are determined to fight as far as possible for justice and for it to be overturned.”
Dr Mackereth will challenge the ruling at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London this week (March 28 and 29).