Legal News

A doctor who believed on the basis of the Bible that it is not possible to change sex/gender and was not willing to use preferred pronouns has failed in a discrimination claim.

In Mackereth v DWP ( the EAT held the doctor had a protected belief under the Equality Act, but on the facts there was no unlawful discrimination. He had been starting work as a health and disabilities assessor, assessing people for disability-related benefits. More: Gender reassignment>Beliefs on transgender issues.

There has also been a further development in Forstater v CGD Europe, after the EAT held that the claimant (who believes that sex is biologically immutable) had a protected belief under the EqA. An employment tribunal (pdf, has now upheld her claim for direct discrimination. The tribunal’s decision is not a binding precedent, but it considered that her contract was not renewed because she held and/or manifested the protected belief, rather than because she manifested the belief in some particular way to which objection could justifiably be taken. More: Gender reassignment>Beliefs on transgender issues.

We have also added Page v NHS Trust Development Authority (, 2021, a discrimination claim by a non-executive director of an NHS Trust who went on national media with his views that same-sex couples should not adopt. The Court of Appeal there set out the test for direct discrimination because of belief used in Mackereth and Forstater. More: Race and religion or belief>Direct discrimination.