The two-day hearing on the case of Dr. David Mackereth, a Christian doctor who was terminated from his employment at the United Kingdom's Department of Work and Pensions, began on Monday, March 28.
According to The Christian Post, Mackereth lost his job in July 2018 when he refused to use transgender pronouns. The Christian Concern, which represents Mackereth in court, explained that the doctor was removed as a medical assessor for the DWP despite his 28 years of experience as an Accident & Emergency Department doctor. The reason? Mackereth refused to identify his patients with their chosen gender instead of their biological sex based on his Christian beliefs.
The 56-year-old Mackereth filed an appeal with the Employment Appeal Tribunal last month after a British judge from the Employment Tribunal of Birmingham ruled against his favor in October 2019. The Birmingham judge ruled Mackereth's claims of harassment and discrimination against his Christian beliefs were "mere opinion." The judge stressed this is not protected by UK's Equality Act 2010.
"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 judge said.
"In so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy Grainger (the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others)," he continued.
This ruling will be the focal point of the hearing in the Appeals Tribunal, whose decision is foreseen as a precedent for all Bible-believing Christians.
As a reaction to the ruling, Mackereth raised that Christian medical professionals are being compelled to speak for an ideology that is coercive, complex, and threatening. He pointed out that medical professionals should be able to speak out freely about the truth that a person can not really change their sex since there is no scientific basis for that change. Yet his experience as a doctor for almost three decades was made irrelevant out of avoiding someone from being offended.
"As Christians we are not trying to be unkind to people in any way. As Christians we are called to love all people with Christian love. But we cannot love people truly when we live and disseminate a lie. If we are to tell patients that they need to 'follow the science', then we must not tell them that they can change sex," MacKareth said.
Christian Legal Center Chief Executive Andrea Williams raised that if the appeals court will continue to uphold the Birmingham Tribunal's ruling, "seismic consequences" will be experienced by Christians in the workplace when they profess their belief that God created man as only male and female.
Williams condemned the "bizarre ironic twist" that a human person's dignity is not spoken of in the Bible, particularly Genesis 1:27, which was highlighted in the case. To say that Biblical teaching is now comparable to the extreme beliefs held by the Nazis during the holocausts, Williams said, "was and still is shocking" for a judge to rule. The executive stressed that the ruling can not stand and needs to be overturned for the sake of justice.
On the other hand, Mackereth is hopeful that the appeals tribunal will take his side. The tribunal ruled in June 2021 in favor of Maya Forstater who was similarly rejected by a local court for her biblical belief that sex is assigned at birth.