Woman Awarded Over £100,000 After Being Fired for Transgender Tweet
Tribunal Rules in Favor of Woman Who Claims Discrimination for Expressing Gender-Critical Beliefs
A British tribunal has awarded a woman more than £100,000 ($127,000) after she lost her job for tweeting that transgender women are biologically male. Maya Forstater, the claimant, argued that she faced discrimination for holding what she deemed "perfectly ordinary beliefs about the material reality of sex."
In a judgment delivered on Friday, an employment tribunal based in London ordered the Center for Global Development (CGD) to pay Forstater £91,500 in compensation for loss of earnings and emotional damage, along with £14,900 in interest, resulting in a total sum of £106,400.
Forstater worked as a researcher and taxation expert for the CGD in 2018 when she posted a series of tweets criticizing the government's proposed legislation to allow individuals to change their gender at will.
In one tweet, she wrote, "A man's internal feeling that he is a woman has no basis in material reality." She also drew comparisons between transgender women and Rachel Dolezal, an American university lecturer who falsely identified as black while leading a chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Washington.
Additionally, Forstater expressed surprise at how "smart people who I admire... are tying themselves in knots to avoid saying the truth that men cannot change into women."
Forstater's employment contract was not renewed in 2019, and she lost her fellowship at the CGD. However, in 2021, she won an appeal against the think tank when a tribunal ruled that her tweets "did not seek to destroy the rights of trans persons" and that she was unfairly discriminated against due to her opinions. The compensation was awarded to her on Friday.
In a statement, Forstater highlighted that her case had exposed institutionalized discrimination and the routine abuse faced by individuals with gender-critical beliefs. She emphasized that she, along with others who hold similar views, had been victims of discrimination fueled by bigotry, rather than being perpetrators.
Forstater's case gained significant media attention in the UK, and she received public support from author JK Rowling, known for the 'Harry Potter' series, who shares similar gender-critical perspectives.
It is worth noting that the British government halted its plans to allow legal gender changes without a medical diagnosis in 2020. While Scotland passed a bill in December 2021 permitting individuals over the age of 16 to change their gender at will, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak blocked the law in January 2022.