A British doctor who started training in May to become a health and disability assessor for the government department was fired for stating that gender is determined at birth.
Dr. David Mackereth, 55, had worked as an NHS doctor since he was 29 and spent most of his career in Accident and Emergency wards, but during his training, his instructor said Mackereth’s reports had to refer to the patient or client by their self-identified gender.
Mackereth recalled, "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. I could have kept my mouth shut but it was the right time to raise it.”
After his trainer relayed Mackereth’s comments, APM, the agency employing him, stated that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy, said his attitude “could be considered harassment as defined by the 2010 Equality Act.” Mackereth responded that he could not abide by those standards “in good conscience.”
Mackereth was deemed “unfit to work” and subsequently fired.
Mackereth asserted, “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.” He also said he feared other “professional people of faith” could be fired for defending perspectives about gender that are “centuries old.”
Mackereth concluded, “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.”
A DWP spokeswoman stated, “Dr. Mackereth made it clear during his training that he would refuse to use pronouns which did not match his own view of a person's biological gender. We expect all assessors to handle assessments sensitively and adhere to the Equality Act 2010.”