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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”110741″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_column_text]In intervening in Maya Forstater’s tribunal, the focus was – as always – on the core principle of free expression and protecting free speech in law.
As has been made clear from the outset, this case was not about the right to be hateful and cruel. Rather, it was about protecting in law the right to hold certain beliefs. We are pleased that the Judge has recognised this and upheld the appeal.
Index on Censorship exists to ensure everyone’s right to free expression. But we know that the toxic nature of the current conversation on sex and gender is doing little to resolve the issues at its centre. The answer is not to shut down the conversation or attempt to silence those people who hold beliefs on any side of the argument.
Rather, we should seek to provide a platform and space for considered discussion and engagement – and that’s something Index on Censorship will continue to do following today’s decision.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
An employee of a leading think tank was fired for publicly arguing that transgender women were not real women. Maya Forstater was a tax expert for The Centre for Global Development (CGD). In March 2019, Forstater posted a series of tweets in support of the statement that “men cannot change into women.”
The Index on Censorship advocacy group stood in support of Forstater during the trial. Jodie Ginsberg, the group’s CEO, told the Guardian, “I cannot see that Maya has done anything wrong other than express an opinion that many feminists share – that there should be a public and open debate about the distinction between sex and gender.”
People have long speculated that J.K. Rowling, creator of Harry Potter and nothing else of note since, is secretly a transphobe. Until today, the strongest evidence was that she had liked a Twitter post referring to trans women as “men in dresses,” which she later claimed had been an accidental slip of her finger.
As a purely free speech issue, I believe people should be allowed to say all manner of horrible things without losing their jobs over it and the Index on Censorship sided with Forstater in her court case for a similar reason.
Another explosion in the gender wars went off on December 18th, when an employment tribunal in London ruled that stating “gender-critical” beliefs—for instance, that the words “man” and “woman” properly refer to males and females rather than to anyone who identifies as such—are a legitimate reason to lose one’s job.
Jodie Ginsberg of Index on Censorship, which campaigns for freedom of expression, said she was “deeply worried about what this judgment means …