The Observer has come out in support of the free speech rights of those who say people cannot change biological sex.
In an editorial, the paper stressed that freedom of expression was “a fundamental human right and a cornerstone of democracy, which cannot flourish unless citizens can articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship or sanction”.
It comes as the public backlash against radical trans ideology increases – most notably seen in the number of institutions ditching Stonewall’s controversial Diversity Champions Scheme .
The Observer noted how, in recent years, multiple women who resisted such ideology had been “harassed, punished, censured – and even physically assaulted” for their views.
The paper also criticised Stonewall’s chief executive Nancy Kelley for fuelling the “frightening of women into silence” after she compared defending biological reality to anti-Semitism.
Citing the recent successful cases of Maya Forstater and Jess de Wahls – both accused of ‘transphobia’ – its editorial argued that these were part of an “overdue correction” to reinforce the legitimacy of gender-critical views.
It should not need stating that gender-critical feminists have the same free-speech rights as all other citizens.
The piece concluded: “It should not need stating that gender-critical feminists have the same free-speech rights as all other citizens”.
But activists attacked the paper, claiming that the article was offensive to transgender people.
The Observer newspaper has written another editorial legitimising the obsessive media onslaught against trans people, during Pride month and on the weekend of Trans Pride.
The same newspaper backed the Iraq war. They were on the wrong side of history then, and they are again.
— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) June 27, 2021
Guardian journalist Owen Jones accused the paper of “legitimising the obsessive media onslaught against trans people”.
Outspoken activist lawyer Jolyon Maugham QC, called it “Vapid, shamelessly self-serving, nonsense”.
I wonder if the Observer can point to a definition of freedom of expression that says it is the right to speech *without sanction*? Yes, you can express transphobic views. But I can, vigorously, dissociate from you if you do. Vapid, shamelessly self-serving, nonsense. pic.twitter.com/FV4k48aQ7z
— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) June 27, 2021
Maugham vocally opposed the High Court’s ruling in Bell v Tavistock to protect children from cross-sex hormones.