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It is legal to believe in two biological sexes - Maya Forstater judgement 10.6.2021

(59 Posts)
FarNorth Thu 10-Jun-21 11:30:52

Here is a statement from Maya Forstater, on winning her case at Employment Appeal Tribunal :

Here is the judgement given :

Appeal No. UKEAT/0105/20/JOJ



At the Tribunal
on 27 & 28 April 2021
Handed down on 10 June 2021










Transcript of Proceedings


© Copyright 2021


The Claimant holds gender-critical beliefs, which include the belief that sex is immutable and not to be conflated with gender identity. She engaged in debates on social media about gender identity issues, and in doing so made some remarks which some trans gender people found offensive and “transphobic”. Some of her colleagues at work complained that they found her comments offensive, and, following an investigation, her visiting fellowship was not renewed. The Claimant complained that she was discriminated against because of her belief. There was a preliminary hearing to determine whether the Claimant’s belief was a philosophical belief within the meaning of s.10 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA). The Tribunal held that the belief, being absolutist in nature and whereby the Claimant would “refer to a person by the sex she considers appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment”, was one that was “not worthy of respect in a democratic society”. Accordingly, the Tribunal concluded that the belief did not satisfy the fifth criterion in Grainger plc v Nicholson [2010] ICR 360 (“Grainger V”). The Claimant appealed.

Held, allowing the appeal, that the Tribunal had erred in its application of Grainger V. A philosophical belief would only be excluded for failing to satisfy Grainger V if it was the kind of belief the expression of which would be akin to Nazism or totalitarianism and thereby liable to be excluded from the protection of rights under Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) by virtue of Article 17 thereof. The Claimant’s gender-critical beliefs, which were widely shared, and which did not seek to destroy the rights of trans persons, clearly did not fall into that category. The Claimant’s belief, whilst offensive to some, and notwithstanding its potential to result in the harassment of trans persons in some circumstances, fell within the protection under Article 9(1), ECHR and therefore within s.10, EqA.


This judgment does not mean that the EAT has expressed any view on the merits of either side of the transgender debate and nothing in it should be regarded as so doing.
This judgment does not mean that those with gender-critical beliefs can ‘misgender’ trans persons with impunity. The Claimant, like everyone else, will continue to be subject to the prohibitions on discrimination and harassment that apply to everyone else. Whether or not conduct in a given situation does amount to harassment or discrimination within the meaning of EqA will be for a tribunal to determine in a given case.
This judgment does not mean that trans persons do not have the protections against discrimination and harassment conferred by the EqA. They do. Although the protected characteristic of gender reassignment under s.7, EqA would be likely to apply only to a proportion of trans persons, there are other protected characteristics that could potentially be relied upon in the face of such conduct.
This judgment does not mean that employers and service providers will not be able to provide a safe environment for trans persons. Employers would continue to be liable (subject to any defence under s.109(4), EqA) for acts of harassment and discrimination against trans persons committed in the course of employment.

FarNorth Fri 11-Jun-21 21:41:04

You might like this interview with Maya - 30mins and there is a transcript of it also.

PinkCakes Sat 12-Jun-21 12:55:22

There are only 2 sexes, and no amount of hormone tablets, surgery or simply asking to be addressed as something other than the sex a person actually is will change that. Chromosomes determing a person's sex.

I could tell people I identify with being a unicorn, but no amount of whining about that will make it true.

FarNorth Sun 13-Jun-21 11:07:23

Natalie Bird is a woman who has been barred from holding any LibDem party office for 10 years - because she wore a t-shirt saying Woman : Adult Human Female.
Natalie is suing the LibDems.

yggdrasil Sun 13-Jun-21 13:58:29

If you regard biological sex as dependent on the X & Y chromosomes, there are more than 2.
XY, XX. XXY, XYY, X0 to name but the ones I can think of.

Gender is what you feel you are. If this matches what your body shows, good. If it doesn't, you have to make what corrections you need.

Galaxy Sun 13-Jun-21 14:01:47

You can do anything you like this doesnt mean you have changed sex. As that is not possible.

FarNorth Sun 13-Jun-21 14:17:47

A minute proportion of people have variations in sex characteristics.
Most 'trans' people do not have that.

It's ridiculous to say that you should change your body to match some notion of what a female or a male should be - based on current stereotypes.

Present yourself differently, if you like, and challenge the stereotypes since your biological sex can't be changed.

FarNorth Sun 13-Jun-21 14:19:14

People with variations of sex characteristics are, nevertheless, either female or male.

Mollygo Sun 13-Jun-21 14:59:40

2 sexes fine.
The problem with self id is the few who use it to abuse.

FarNorth Mon 14-Jun-21 10:44:01

An article by Iain Macwhirter saying what feminists have been saying for some time - countless organisations have accepted Stonewall's version of the law, rather than the actual law.

Rosie51 Mon 14-Jun-21 13:46:05

FarNorth thanks for that link to the Peter Daly article. I'd promised myself I would make time to read it and finally have. Such an interesting and reasoned account. As is Iain Macwhirter's. I'm surprised there hasn't been more interaction with this thread, it really is a very important judgement.

varian Mon 14-Jun-21 13:54:55

Many, if not most, trans people do actually want to change their body to match what they feel it should be. It is not about stereotypes. Thanks to modern medicine, amazing transformations are now possible. Even so, it has never been an easy process to go through.

I'd imagine that those who have gone through a rigorous process of psychological assessment, hormone treatments and surgeries may well feel that just declaring yourself to be a different sex is hardly the same thing.

Rosie51 Mon 14-Jun-21 14:08:39

Many, if not most, trans people do actually want to change their body to match what they feel it should be

Do you have any data to back that up varian as certainly almost all of the transwomen who posted abuse to J K Rowling on twitter seemed to be very attached to their "lady penis"? Isn't Stonewall saying that sexed bodies don't count, it's all about gender identity and lesbians should be prepared to accept the "female" penises of trans lesbians?

KateG Mon 14-Jun-21 14:10:14

Thank goodness she was. Lesbians were being dragged back into the dark ages. What right have Stonewall to abuse them if they don’t want to go to bed with someone with a penis. Sorry Lady Penis ‘.

Esspee Mon 14-Jun-21 14:24:43

Great news, makes a change.

varian Mon 14-Jun-21 14:37:18

I think Stonewall has lost the plot here. As Matthew Parris, one of its founder members, has pointed out it was set up to campaign on behalf of Lesbians and Gay Men, who were at the time suffering many kinds of discrimination.

Gender disphoria is nothing to do with sexual preference.

Mollygo Mon 14-Jun-21 14:37:32

If you have a penis and want to go to bed with a female that’s . . .

halfpint1 Mon 14-Jun-21 14:39:15

I am happy at this verdict and well done Mya
It is difficult to find the right words to say more for fear of reprisals.
I used'age appropiate'on another thread and got batons waved at me,so commenting here could be disastrous!

Galaxy Mon 14-Jun-21 14:58:09

I dont think that's true to be honest, I think on Twitter you would get some unpleasantness but I have had lots of discussions on here on this issue. There are people who disagree with my view and vice versa but that's fine.

halfpint1 Mon 14-Jun-21 16:32:26

Galaxy that is exactly what I'm talking about.
Why are you commenting on what I said and not the OP

You said
' I don't think thats true to be honest'

That sounds like I'm not being honest in my opinion, lets keep
to the subject and off other people's posts.

Galaxy Mon 14-Jun-21 16:39:06

I am giving you my experience of posting on this subject. It's kind of how threads work we comment on things people have said. I was actually trying to reassure you that you wouldnt be harassed for having a view on this subject as you would on other platforms.

trisher Mon 14-Jun-21 16:55:43

I've always thought people could beieve what they like but to all those celebrating this judgement I hope you took notice of this sentence This judgment does not mean that those with gender-critical beliefs can ‘misgender’ trans persons with impunity
It isn't by any means the' behave as you wish' judgement some seem to assume it is.

FarNorth Mon 14-Jun-21 17:07:51

trisher I don't think anyone on here has taken that attitude.
Did you miss that Maya Forstater lost her job simply for believing that sex can't be changed?
She did not insult anyone in any way.

I don't know if you think that 'lady penis' is some sort of insult - it's a term commonly used by some trans activists. Likewise 'girl dick'.

Rosie51 Mon 14-Jun-21 17:25:24

trisher who do you think is assuming they can ' behave as you wish' ? I think most people understand the judgement to mean that it is now possible to say there are two sexes, that sex is immutable, and not be targeted as a transphobe and unfairly discriminated against. Are you unhappy with this result? I do think that transwomen who rape with their penis should have it recorded as a male crime and not, as present, a female one if that's how they identify. Newspaper reports can refer to her, but should make it clear we are speaking of a male sex person.

Galaxy Mon 14-Jun-21 17:37:08

I think it will be also interesting to see the ripple effect of this judgement, there must be some organisations who are a little worried, and some women who will be currently seeking legal advice.

Ilovecheese Mon 14-Jun-21 18:02:17

But Trisher It's not people on here or on feminist platforms that post threats of violence and insults, it is people pretending to support transgender people and using that as a cover for their dislike of women.
Maya Forstater didn't regularly "misgender" people either, nor did she threaten them or laugh at them.