K Rowling has claimed that every woman who has been “harassed, silenced or bullied” for gender critical views is safer after a campaigner won an employment tribunal.
The Harry Potter author made the comments after Maya Forstater, a 47-year-old tax expert, who lost her job at a think tank after claiming people cannot change their biological sex, won three fresh claims in an employment tribunal following an appeal.
Ms Forstater’s contract at the Centre for Global Development (CGD) was not renewed in March 2019 after she tweeted that biological sex could not be changed.
The tribunal heard she posted “inflammatory and objectionable” tweets about transgender people and opposed government proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act to allow people to identify as the opposite sex.
However, in a judgment handed down on Wednesday, employment judge Andrew Glennie said the decision to not offer Ms Forstater a contract or renew a fellowship following her tweets was direct discrimination related to her beliefs.
Judge Glennie added that her complaint that she was victimised after being removed from a company website was also “well founded”.
Remedies and any issues will be determined at a future hearing.
Yes! We won. All the important bits. I was discriminated against by @CGDev because of my beliefs.
A potential job offer and visiting fellowship were withdrawn. My biography was taken down from the website when I tried to assert my rights under the Equality Act (victimisation). https://t.co/zw4ckbtUTv pic.twitter.com/1gdQBQMX74
— Maya Forstater (@MForstater) July 6, 2022
But he dismissed Ms Forstater’s other complaints of direct discrimination on the basis of belief, victimisation over a withdrawal of an offer to engage her as a consultant, and harassment and indirect discrimination over sex and belief.
Peter Daly, Ms Forstater’s solicitor, said in a tweet following the ruling that his client’s direct discrimination claims were also pleaded alternatively as harassment.
This means she could not win both sets of claims, and the dismissal of the harassment claims was therefore a formality.
The latest ruling comes after Ms Forstater successfully brought a test case to establish that gender-critical views are a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act.