A woman who successfully overturned a tribunal verdict after being sacked for her transgender views is speaking out for a teacher in a similar position.
Maya Forstater, who was successful in overturning a tribunal verdict after feeling discriminated against at work two years ago, is speaking up for a man who has repeatedly clashed with teaching authorities over his Christian beliefs.
Joshua Sutcliffe, 32, is a teacher who was sacked after a slip-up in class where he failed to use the correct pronoun for a pupil who had identified as a boy in 2017.
He was also forced to resign from another school when, two years later, he called the prophet Mohammed ‘a false prophet’.
Now facing the Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA) in a professional conduct panel, Sutcliffe is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which says Sutcliffe’s case “follows an escalating and disturbing trend of professionals and members of the public losing their jobs or being prosecuted by the police for ‘misgendering’".
Tax expert Forstater, who did not have her contract renewed after posting a series of tweets about gender and sex, initially had her claim dismissed by the first tribunal that heard her case, only to be validated on appeal.
She was speaking to the TRA panel on Monday in support of Sutcliffe, who also stands accused of sharing his belief that same-sex marriage is wrong after he was asked for his views by a pupil during a Christian Union bible study.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the CLC, said: “The TRA is targeting an exceptional teacher because his Christian beliefs do not fall in line with the prevailing secular orthodoxy which cannot tolerate any dissent.
“For loving Jesus, speaking truth in his personal time, and responding to questions from students on the Christian faith, he is being hounded out of the teaching profession.
“With critical shortages of teachers in the profession, why are the TRA so determined to force a high-performing teacher out for their Christian beliefs?
“The very notion of ‘misgendering’ is completely undefinable, what can be wrong in stating a biological fact?
“We hope the TRA panel will take on board this crucial expert evidence and deliver justice for Joshua this week.”