LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - On Wednesday, a U.K. employment tribunal ruled against a doctor who was sacked for objecting to the use of transgender pronouns.
In July 2018, Dr. David Mackereth was forced out of the job while training to be a disability assessor for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after stating that he would not refer to a transgender who is biologically male as "she."
Mackereth said soon after his dismissal, "I don't believe I should be compelled to use a specific pronoun. I am not setting out to upset anyone. But if upsetting someone can lead to doctors being sacked, then as a society we have to examine where we are going."
His attorney argued that Mackereth, a Reformed Baptist, believes God makes every person either male or female, in accord with Genesis 1:27: "And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them."
But the tribunal panel said this belief is contrary to fundamental human rights, stating in Wednesday's ruling, "Belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals."
The tribunal noted that Mackereth's beliefs as a Reformed Baptist include "a commitment to the supremacy of the Bible as the infallible, inerrant word of God as his final authority in all matters of faith and practice."
The ruling stated elsewhere, "Having stepped back and considered matters in the round, we make a positive determination that the reason for the treatment of Dr. Mackereth was that the DWP ... wanted to treat its service users in the manner (using the style, titles and/or pronouns) of their choosing."
Mackereth's legal counsel was provided by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC).
In a CLC press release, Mackereth said that he plans to appeal:
I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians — and any other NHS [National Health Service] member of staff — to speak the truth. If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practice of medicine in the UK.
Mackereth also commented, "No doctor, or researcher, or philosopher, can demonstrate or prove that a person can change sex. Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended."
In like manner, Andrea Williams, chief executive of the CLC, opined, "This is 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."
Citing the court's description of Mackereth's beliefs about gender as "incompatible with human dignity" and "not worthy of respect in a democratic society," Williams argued, "In the past this definition has only applied to the most extreme beliefs, such as those of Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis, and similar. It is quite shocking for the judge to put the belief in the Bible in the same category now."
Williams also stated, "This is one of the most concerning rulings we have ever seen at the Christian Legal Centre and we are determined to continue to fight for justice in this case, not just for Dr. Mackereth and Bible-believing Christians, but for everyone who believes that we are born male and female."
"People who suffer from gender dysphoria must be treated lovingly," Williams concluded, "but not telling the truth to these vulnerable people is unloving. Men cannot become women nor can women become men."
In a video published online this July, Mackereth argued that forcing doctors to use transgender pronouns could provoke Christians to leave the medical profession completely.
Mackereth noted, "In 1967 when the abortion act came in, many Christian doctors moved to areas of medicine where they wouldn't be affected by that — and in many ways that's what I've done."
Unlike decriminalizing abortion, Mackereth reasoned, the mandatory use of transgender pronouns impacts all parts of the medical field.
"But in this situation," he said, "there will be nowhere in any branch of medicine for doctors or nurses or anybody else, nowhere in any branch of medicine — and that's just medicine, not the other professions — where you can run from this."
He predicted, "Either we are going to have to go along with this, this crazy way of thinking, or we're going to have to get out."