A U.K. appeals court has sided with Maya Forstater, the U.K. consultant whose contract with a U.S.-based non-profit was not renewed after colleagues took issue with a series of tweets she’d issued defending the view that gender is biological and “misgendering” an individual who identified as non-binary.
Forstater’s legal battle with the Center for Global Development captured international attention as high-profile names like J.K. Rowling faced vicious backlash after expressing their support for her right to simply hold a certain view of gender.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal determined that an original tribunal had erred when determining that Forstater’s speech had violated the rights of transgender individuals, and that only views “akin to Nazism or totalitarianism” were excluded from protection under the European Convention of Human Rights.
As reported by Sky News, High Court judge Mr. Justice Chowdhury noted that Forstater’s views “may well be profoundly offensive and even distressing” to some but still “must be tolerated in a pluralist society.”
While Forstater “did not seek to destroy the rights of trans persons” she was nonetheless not free to “misgender” individuals “with impunity,” the judge noted.
“The claimant, like everyone else, will continue to be subject to the prohibitions on discrimination and harassment that apply to everyone else,” he wrote.
“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,” Forstater said in a statement.
“Being a woman is a material reality. It is not a costume or a feeling. Institutions that pretend sex doesn’t matter become hostile places for women, in particular.”
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