The outspoken atheist, Richard Dawkins, has been stripped of an American Humanist Association (AHA) award for questioning transgender ideology.
The AHA withdrew the 1996 Humanist of the Year award from Dawkins after he raised difficulties with the idea that people can identify as something other than their birth sex.
Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, has previously stated that biological sex is defined by a person’s chromosomes.
Earlier this month, Dawkins likened men who claim to be women to Rachel Dolezal – a woman who asserted she was black for ten years.
Dawkins tweeted: “In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black. Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as. Discuss.”
He later added: “’I do not intend to disparage trans people. I see that my academic ‘Discuss’ question has been misconstrued as such and I deplore this.”
In response, the AHA Board accused the biologist of implying that “the identities of transgender individuals are fraudulent” and voted to withdraw Dawkins’s 1996 Humanist of the Year award.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, political commentator Michael Deacon mocked the AHH for its treatment of Dawkins.
He said: “Wokeism: the glorious new religion of our time, whose evangelists preach their dogma with a ravening zeal from their social media pulpits, while sinners are furiously decried until they repent.”
I would have expected a humanist group to respect the freedom to ask uncomfortable questions
Deacon added: “I would have expected a humanist group to respect the freedom to ask uncomfortable questions, the freedom to test the boundaries of socially acceptable thought, the freedom to cause offence”.