A Christian doctor due to take on a key civil service role has lost the position for asserting that gender is determined by biology.
Dr David Mackereth, who has worked for the NHS for 26 years, was set to become a disability assessor for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
But he was deemed ‘unfit to work’ after he said he would refer to patients in accordance with their biological sex.
Dr Mackereth had started training for the new role in May, but in his training he was told that all reports must refer to a patient or client by the gender they ‘identify’ as.
He explained: “I said that I had a problem with this. I believe that gender is defined by biology and genetics and that as a Christian the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female.”
APM, the agency employing him, said the DWP required him to use a person’s preferred pronoun, and that refusal could be considered harassment under the Equality Act 2010.
Freedom of conscience
Dr Mackereth could not agree to the demands “in good conscience”. His contract was then terminated.
He said the move impinged on his freedom of speech, saying: “Firstly, we are not allowed to say what we believe.
“Secondly, as my case shows, we are not allowed to think what we believe. Finally, we are not allowed to defend what we believe.”
The doctor is also concerned that other “professional people of faith” could lose their jobs over holding “centuries old” views about the distinctions between males and females.
He added: “I’m not attacking the transgender movement but I am defending my right to freedom of speech, and freedom of belief.
“I don’t think 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.”