Dr David Mackereth: Trans pronouns 'denial of obvious truth'

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Dr David Mackereth said he wanted "the right to practise medicine as a Christian doctor"

A doctor who alleges he was sacked because of his Christian beliefs has told a tribunal using trans pronouns is "a ritual denial of an obvious truth".

Dr David Mackereth, of Dudley, says the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) discriminated against him for refusing to use other people's chosen pronouns.

He was suspended as a disability claims assessor in June 2018.

His tribunal heard he lost his job after saying he would not refer to "any 6ft tall bearded man" as "madam".

The 56-year-old recounted a conversation with a manager at an assessment centre, shortly after being appointed, where he was asked if he would address the man as "she" and "Mrs".

'Violence to language'

Dr Mackereth, an experienced emergency department doctor, said he replied: "As a Christian, I would not be able to accede to such a request in good conscience."

He said it was made clear to him it was likely he would lose his job after the conversation, unless he agreed to use chosen pronouns.

Concluding his opening statement at the tribunal, he said: "What I object to is being forced to do violence to language and common sense, in a ritual denial of an obvious truth, for the sake of an ideology which I disbelieve and detest".

"We have a problem here of two world views that struggle to accept each other."

His case against the DWP - he argues it breached the Equality Act and his right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion - is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

The DWP disagrees that Dr Mackereth's beliefs are "protected" under the Equality Act, while a recruitment agency that appointed him to his post argues his views conflict with the fundamental rights of others.

The department also argues that the doctor's refusal to use a person's preferred pronouns could constitute harassment under equality law.

The tribunal hearing continues.

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