A UK government department sacked a Christian doctor who said he could not refer to a ‘6ft tall, bearded’ trans woman as ‘madam,’ a employment tribunal has heard.
The DWP allegedly dropped the ‘unashamedly Christian’ doctor for ‘unwanted conduct’ towards the woman.
The doctor took the government department to an employment tribunal after he was allegedly dismissed weeks after starting as a Universal Credit assessor.
Mackereth’s lawyers, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, argued that the DWP’s policy of promoting equality and trans-inclusivity denies the ‘doctor freedom of thought.’
In addition, the devout Reformed Baptist argued that gender is ‘unchangeable and fundamental.’
During the opening day of his tribunal, he repeatedly read passages from the Bible as well as denying that his views are offensive. He then slammed the suspension as ‘sinister,’ court documents show.
Why did the department dismiss him?
However, the doctor recalled an incident that allegedly incited his dismissal.
He informed the three-person tribunal panel that an ‘argument arose’ with his manager. Mackereth refused ‘to make an abstract ideological pledge to call any six-feet tall bearded man “madam.”‘
He continued: ‘Throughout this process, I kept stressing that my objection to that misuse of pronouns was based on my Christian beliefs and conscience.’
Asked if he thought such views would undermine the dignity of a patient, he replied: ‘I believe that we are made in God’s image. Male and female.
‘I do not believe that it would undermine somebody’s dignity.’
‘I don’t believe a person can change their gender. It’s not scientifically or medically possible. We have a problem here of two world views that struggle to accept each other.’
Transphobia would not ‘affect the quality’ of his work
Robert Moretto represented the DWP. He asked Mackereth about the General Medical Council code of conduct, which stated that processionals must be ‘polite and considerate’ to those being assessed.
In addition, they must not express personal beliefs to patients which may cause distress.
As a result, Mackereth clarified that he would not ‘object’ to assessing trans people. But argued that not referring to them by their pronouns would not ‘affect the quality’ of his work.
Meanwhile, the DWP denied that the Equality Act would protect Mackereth’s beliefs.
Moreover, the recruitment agency which appointed him to his post argued that his views conflict with the rights of others.
Likewise, the tribunal comes just a day after TV host Piers Morgan rowed with the doctor on live television. Morgan defended trans people in a fiery live debate.