A Christian doctor in the United Kingdom, who was fired after he said he didn’t want to call a biological male ‘madam’ because his desire was to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ, will have his appeal heard next month before the Employment Appeal Tribunal, an independent court which settles legal disputes about employment law.
A previous tribunal heard Dr. David Mackereth’s case in 2019 and labeled his speech as not “worthy of respect in a democratic society” and “incompatible with human dignity.”
Mackereth, 56, a physician with 28 years of experience, will challenge that ruling at his appeal hearing in front of the high court on March 28-29.
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He’s represented by the Christian Legal Centre, the legal arm of the watchdog group Christian Concern.
As CBN News reported in 2019, the British government’s Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) fired Dr. David Mackereth from his job as a disability assessor in late June 2018 because he refused to hypothetically refer to “a six-foot-tall bearded man” as “madam.”
Mackereth had previously worked as an emergency doctor for the National Health Service. He said he was removed from his job in late June 2018 after being “interrogated” about his personal religious convictions by his boss, James Owen.
The doctor said he would not use transgender pronouns and claimed during the hearing he was ultimately fired “not because of any realistic concerns over the rights and sensitivities of transgender individuals, but because of my refusal to make an abstract ideological pledge.”
“I am a Christian and in good conscience cannot do what the DWP is requiring of me,” Mackereth said.
Judge Rules Genesis 1:27 Is ‘Mere Opinion’
His attorneys argued in court in 2019 that the DWP policy of compelling staff to use ‘transgender pronouns’ was a breach of the Equality Act and that the Department of Work and Pensions had breached Mackereth’s right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.
His legal team argued that his “conscientious objection to transgenderism” is based on his belief “that it would be irresponsible and dishonest for a health professional to accommodate and/or encourage a patient’s impersonation of the opposite sex”.
They also argued that the DWP discriminated against Mackereth because of his Christian beliefs, including: “His belief in the truth of the Bible, and in particular, the truth of Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
But the judge hearing the case later ruled that Mackereth’s belief in Genesis 1:27 was not a belief protected by the Equality Act 2010 and was “mere opinion.”
In his ruling, Employment Judge Perry effectively put ‘transgender rights’ ahead of freedom of conscience, and as a consequence authorized employers to compel Christians to use pronouns preferred by customers who believe in gender fluidity.
According to the Christian Legal Centre, it was the first time in the history of English law that a judge has ruled that free citizens must engage in compelled speech.
Christian Beliefs Upheld in 2021 Landmark Case
Mackereth’s appeal follows a landmark case in which Maya Forstater, a British woman who was fired from her job after saying men cannot change into women, won her appeal after the High Court declared her beliefs were protected under the Equality Act.
As CBN News reported in 2021, Judge Akhlaq Choudhury ruled that the original tribunal had ‘erred in law’ when it judged her belief that sex is assigned at birth as ‘incompatible with human dignity.’
Mackereth’s attorneys said they will argue that the Forstater ruling has resolved the ‘central issue of law’ raised in Mackereth’s case.
His attorneys will also say that the “conclusion that Christian religion itself was not a protected characteristic simply cannot be right.”
“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,” Mackereth said in a statement.
“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,” he continued.
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.”
“The teaching of Genesis 1:27 is repeated throughout the Bible, including by Jesus Christ himself,” she continued. “It is fundamental to establishing the dignity of every human person but is, in a bizarre ironic twist, being branded as incompatible with that dignity.”
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