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A Christian nurse in the United Kingdom is suing a health clinic in North London, claiming the National Health Service-affiliated organization is "forcing racist ideology" on students.
The nurse, Amy Gallagher, claims that the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust has discriminated against her on the basis of race and religion because she refuses to accept the teachings of critical race theory.
"They are forcing Critical Race Theory onto people - you're not allowed to disagree with it, or they will bully you for two years,” Gallagher, a second year student in the trust's forensic psychology program, told the Telegraph in an interview.
The 33-year-old nurse has objected to course lectures that have emphasized "the reality of white privilege," including an Oct. 2020 lecture titled, "whiteness — a problem of our time." Gallagher also claimed that a lecturer told her "Christianity is racist because it is European," which offended her as a white Christian woman.
She further claims she has suffered from victimization and harassment because because of her "lack of belief" in doctrines of critical race theory — a school of thought that claims racism is institutional in Western Civilization and that the foundations of classical liberalism are rooted in the oppression of non-white people. Gallagher filed her lawsuit against the trust in January of last year.
“I'm bringing this legal case to protect my career but it's also the first test of woke ideology in the courts. The NHS is forcing someone to adopt a racist ideology and it needs to be stopped," Gallagher said.
According to The Telegraph, her case escalated in March this year when an external speaker at the trust complained to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, alleging that Gallagher could not work with "diverse populations" and had "inflicted race-based harm."
Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust CEO Paul Jenkins has reportedly said his organization "has committed itself to an explicit ambition of becoming an anti-racist organization."
Gallagher is crowdfunding to support her lawsuit. As of Monday, she has raised more than £36,000, roughly $41,000, on GoFundMe.
A legal expert told the Telegraph that Gallagher's case is unique because of her "lack of belief" argument.
"The ‘lack of belief’ draws attention to something that people are not talking about in the free speech world in the West, which I think is covered by the Equality Act under lack of belief, which is you have the right not to be forced to sign up a set of values or ideology with which you do not agree," Dr. Anna Loutfi said. Loutfi is an equality and human rights barrister with King's College London.
“It’s quite one thing to censor somebody for wanting to say things that people find objectionable or offensive, but it’s really another thing substantively to force somebody to articulate a view that they do not hold, as if they hold it. That is what has happened to Amy,” Loutfi explained.
A spokesman for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust declined to comment on pending litigation to the Telegraph.
“We cannot comment on an ongoing legal case. As a trust, we have made a public commitment to work to become an anti-racist organization,” the spokesman said.
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