Christian doctor lost his job after refusing to identify a six-foot-tall bearded man as ‘madam’

Created on: 11th July 2019

Dr David Mackereth, 56, claims he was sacked as a disability benefits assessor by the Department of Work and Pensions over his religious beliefs.

The father-of-four alleges he was asked in a conversation with a line manager: “If you have a man six foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs’, would you do that?”

Dr Mackereth, an evangelist who now works as an emergency doctor in Shropshire, claims his contract was then terminated over his refusal to use transgendered pronouns.

He argues that he was dismissed “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”.

The doctor is now suing the government at an employment tribunal for discrimination on the grounds of his religious belief.
A hearing in Birmingham was told how Dr Mackereth believes transgenderism is a “delusional belief” and an ideology “which I disbelieve and detest”.

In a statement admitted into evidence, he told the court: “If you believe in gender fluidity, gender is no more than one’s own fantasy about oneself.”

The trained theologian and "unashamed" Christian, who has 30 years’ medical experience, secured a job as a Health and Disability Assessor at Birmingham’s Fiveways assessment centre in May 2018.

He told the tribunal he was suspended the following month after being “interrogated” by his boss, James Owen, for refusing to “call any six-foot-tall bearded man ‘madam’ on his whim”. The medic claims he was told he was “overwhelmingly likely” to lose his job unless he agreed.

Dr Mackereth left his role on June 25, 2018, after an email exchange with Mr Owen in which he was instructed to follow the “process as discussed in your training”.

The email read: “If however you do not want to do this, we will respect your decision and your right to leave your contract.” Dr Mackereth replied: “I am a Christian and in good conscience cannot do what the DWP is requiring of me.”

He insists he did not resign his position and is the victim of direct discrimination and harassment.

posted by David Pilkington

Extract from www.telegraph.co.uk

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