Christian Doctor Fired for Refusing to Refer to '6ft Bearded Man' as 'Madam'
Dr. David Mackereth says he's being persecuted for his belief humans are not gender fluid
A Christian doctor says he was fired from his job after he refused to call a "six-feet tall bearded man 'madam'" because it goes against his beliefs.
Dr. David Mackereth is suing the British Department for Work and Pensions for discrimination, arguing that he was wrongfully sacked due to his scientific and religious beliefs that humans are not born "gender fluid."
During an employment tribunal hearing against the DWP on Wednesday, the 56-year-old doctor said he was suspended as a disability claim assessor in Birmingham for refusing to call people who were born male "she" if they now "identify" as female.
Dr. Mackereth said it is because it would be irresponsible of a medical professional to address people based on preferred pronouns rather than their biological gender.
Mackereth alleges that his suspension from the Fiveways center in June 2018 was in response to his religious beliefs, a statement admitted into evidence at the start of the tribunal reveals.
"In truth, the argument between us arose not because of any realistic concerns over the rights and sensitivities of transgender individuals, but because of my refusal to make an abstract ideological pledge to call any six-feet tall bearded man 'madam' on his whim.
"Throughout this process, I kept stressing that my objection to that misuse of pronouns was based on my Christian beliefs and conscience."
During his Wednesday tribunal hearing, Dr. Mackereth quoted from the Bible, calling the book the "infallible, inerrant word of God."
According to the Daily Mail, Mackereth, from Dudley, West Midlands, said maleness and femaleness are "unchangeable and fundamental to who we are as people who were created in the image of God."
He said, "transgenderism" was being regarded as "normal" due to political pressure, adding: "I cannot in good conscience go along with those ideas - for example by using people's chosen pronouns, instead of those naturally pertaining to their sex.
"As far as I am concerned, to do so would be both dishonest and irresponsible."
Dr. Mackereth, whose world view is "unashamedly" Christian, had worked in the NHS for 26 years when he was dismissed, including seven at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
He had replied to an advert for the DWP job in May 2018 and was interviewed by recruitment firm manager James Owen.
Having obtained the post, the experienced emergency department doctor was sent on a two-week training course in Marylebone, London.
The medic said that documents he was provided with before the course did not indicate he may be required to use pronouns "in accordance with arbitrary choices rather than in accordance with English grammar and common sense."
Giving his account of a meeting with Mr. Owen on June 13, 2018, at the Birmingham assessment center, Dr. Mackereth said: "I was engaged in working on my second real case when Mr. Owen called me out of my work.
"The purpose was to interrogate me about my beliefs in relation to the use of pronouns.
"To the best of my recollection, in fact, there was no mention of the word transgender during our meeting.
"We talked about the DWP's more general policy of using whatever pronoun the client wants.
"That discussion culminated in Mr. Owen asking me the following question - 'Let's just summarise this. If you have a man six feet tall with a beard, who says he wants to be addressed as "she" and "Mrs" - would you do that?'
"I am quite sure this is exactly what he said to me, in substance if not verbatim.
"I told him that, as a Christian, I would not be able to accede to such a request in good conscience."
Dr. Mackereth claims Mr. Owen then made it clear that unless he agreed to use such pronouns he was overwhelmingly likely to lose his job, although the final decision was for the DWP.
"The issue of pronouns first arose towards the end of the second week of my training on or around June 7, 2018, during one of the sessions with Dr. Omar Ahmed, the lead physician for the course," he said.
"One of the assessors, a doctor, asked Dr. Ahmed what pronouns should be used to refer to clients in the reports.
"She probably had the ideological issues of transgenderism and/or gender fluidity in mind, but those terms themselves were not mentioned.
"Dr. Ahmed responded: 'We write reports using whatever pronouns the client requires.'
"He did not mention the word 'transgender.'"
The doctor claims no effort was made to accommodate his beliefs, such as referring transgender clients to another assessor.
At the conclusion of his opening statement to the tribunal panel, Dr. Mackereth 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.
"The very fact a doctor can be pulled off the shop floor for an urgent interrogation about his beliefs on gender fluidity is both absurd and very sinister."
Addressing the panel today, he compared his "politically correct" bosses to the former totalitarian Islamist rulers of Afghanistan, the Taliban.
He told the panel: "I unashamedly take a Christian world view.
"To be a servant to all does not mean to be a slave to all; this does not mean I should do anything the politically correct government wants.
"It is the idea that truth is relative, which opens to door to and smooths the way for the 'gender fluidity' movement.
"You believe that you are a different gender from that 'assigned at birth,' and that is true for you, so it is true in a relative sense.
"I cannot accept this approach to the nature of truth."
He added: "Any attempt to pretense to change one's sex or gender means a refusal to accept that God has created us 'male and female' and that God's creation was perfect.
"As such, this is a rebellion against God, which is both pointless and sinful.
"Therefore, human desires should not be condoned or followed uncritically.
"The law of God in the Old Testament forbids cross-dressing: 'The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.'"
A doctor has been fired from a top government position after claiming that children are not born "gender fluid."— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) July 11, 2018
MORE HERE: https://t.co/r5T7qjvElm#Transgender #TransgenderAgenda #Christianity pic.twitter.com/ogYKjGUUS9
The DWP denies Dr. Mackereth's beliefs are "protected" under the Equality Act, while a recruitment agency which appointed him to his post argues his views conflict with the fundamental rights of others.
It argues that what the doctor was proposing to do was "unwanted conduct" towards those undergoing gender reassignment, and could have constituted harassment under equality law.
In his evidence from the witness box, the doctor was asked if refusing to use claimants' preferred titles would undermine their dignity.
"I believe that we are made in God's image - male and female," he told the three-member tribunal panel.
"I do not believe that it would undermine somebody's dignity."
Explaining his views, Dr. Mackereth added: "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."
Robert Moretto, representing the DWP, asked Dr. Mackereth about the General Medical Council code of conduct, which states you must be 'polite and considerate' to those being assessed, and not express personal beliefs to patients which may cause distress.
Dr. Mackereth said of the regulations: "It doesn't stop me from saying: 'I am sorry, I am Christian, there are some things I can't do.'
"I can't be forced to do something that goes against my conscience.
"What I am saying about pronouns is not going to affect the quality of the assessment that I do.
"I don't object to doing assessments on transgender people."
Mr. Moretto put it to the doctor that refusing to address people under their presenting sex would amount to harassment under equality laws by having the effect of violating their dignity.
Dr. Mackereth answered "I don't agree," adding: "We do love transgender people.
"That's our duty as Christians.
"But to love people doesn't mean we can accept every ideology that comes our way."