The new head of the equalities watchdog has said people should not have to fear being pilloried for expressing the belief that it is not possible to change biological sex.
Baroness Falkner of Margravine, in her first interview since taking up her role as Chairwoman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said many would find the belief that biological sex is fixed “entirely reasonable”.
Crossbencher Lady Falkner made the remarks to The Times, following the Commission’s intervention at an employment appeal tribunal brought by Maya Forstater over the right to criticise transgender ideology.
Lady Falkner said: “Someone can believe that people who self identify as a different sex are not the different sex that they self identify.”
She added: “A lot of people would find this an entirely reasonable belief.”
Someone can believe that people who self identify as a different sex are not the different sex that they self identify.
Commenting on the statement made by the EHRC in the Forstater case – in which it defended the “philosophical belief” that “trans women are men and trans men are women” – the Baroness described the Commission’s involvement as necessary in order to protect “freedom of belief”.
In the interview, the Peer also expressed concern over the level of abuse directed towards those who hold to gender critical views, saying the outcome was unwelcome “self censorship”.
She explained: “We ought to be able to have a debate about it, even when we disagree with them, without them feeling so isolated.”