A doctor in the United Kingdom claims he was discriminated against by the country's Department for Work and Pensions after being fired for his belief that gender is determined at birth and his refusal to respect the chosen pronouns of others.
Dr. David Mackereth, who worked as a disability claims assessor for the department until his June 2018 suspension, is suing the DWP for discrimination against his religious beliefs, reports
, a British newspaper.
Mackereth had been a doctor for 26 years and worked in emergency rooms for most of his career before deciding to take a course to become a disabilities assessor. During this course, the 56-year-old "Christian doctor" was told by his instructor that he would be required to refer to patients by the pronouns that they requested.
"I said that I had a problem with this," Mackereth told
. "I believe that gender is defined by biology and genetics. And that as a Christian the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female. I could have kept my mouth shut. But it was the right time to raise it."
Mackereth was then told by the DWP that he would need to refer to patients by their chosen pronouns or it would be considered harassment under the Equality Act 2010, an update to Britain's antidiscrimination laws that included protections for transgender people.
Mackereth said that he would not be able to comply with the Equality Act and his contract with the DWP was ended shortly thereafter.
Mackereth claimed the DWP discriminated against his Christian beliefs and took the department to court. At the tribunal hearing, the doctor recounted how his boss told him he was likely to lose his job after he said he refused to "call any six-foot-tall bearded man 'madam' on his whim."
"As a doctor, my responsibility is always to act in good conscience in the best interest of the patients -- not to adopt various fancies, prejudices, or delusions, to avoid offense at all cost," Mackereth told the tribunal. "It is only recently that transgenderism has been recognized as normal and such delusional beliefs accepted at face value. What is responsible for that change is political pressure, not scientific evidence."
Mackereth also said that he believes "transgenderism is a 'rebellion against God, which is both pointless and sinful.'"
In response, the DWP said the doctor's beliefs "are not compatible with human dignity."