A Christian doctor who refused to call transgender women “she” has claimed he was sacked for his religious beliefs.
Dr David Mackereth told an employment tribunal in Birmingham that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) suspended him after he said he would not refer to “any 6ft tall bearded man” as “madam”.
He said he would not use pronouns relating to people’s “chosen” sex as “maleness and femaleness are unchangeable”.
“Throughout this process I kept stressing that my objection to that misuse of pronouns was based on my Christian beliefs and conscience,” he said.
“I cannot in good conscience go along with those ideas - for example by using people's chosen pronouns, instead of those naturally pertaining to their sex.”
The emergency department doctor had been working as a disability claim assessor for a few weeks when he was questioned over his beliefs.
He said it was made clear to him that unless he agreed to use people’s chosen pronouns he was likely to lose his job.
“What I object to is being forced to do violence to language and common sense, in a ritual denial of an obvious truth, for the sake of an ideology which I disbelieve and detest,” he said.
“The very fact a doctor can be pulled off the shop floor for an urgent interrogation about his beliefs on gender fluidity is both absurd and very sinister.”
The DWP has denied that Dr Mackereth’s beliefs are protected under the Equality Act, and said he may have ended up harassing those undergoing gender reassignment if he were allowed to continue working.
The tribunal hearing continues.