Dr. David Mackareth — a Christian doctor living in the U.K. — lost his government job after he refused to call men "madam."
According to the Telegraph, Mackareth told the tribunal he was suspended from his position after being "interrogated" by his boss for "refusing to 'call any six-foot-tall bearded man 'madam' on his whim.'"
What are the details?
The 56-year-old physician, who was working as a disability benefits assessor for the Department of Work and Pensions, reports that a superior asked him, "If you have a man 6 foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as 'she' and 'Mrs.,' would you do that?"
According to the outlet, Mackereth — a 30-year veteran of the health care industry — said that he would not use transgender pronouns and insisted that the concept of transgenderism is a "delusional belief" that he "disbelieve[s] and detest[s]."
Mackereth — who now works as an emergency doctor in Shropshire — said that he was previously warned that he was discriminating against people by invalidating their preferred gender pronouns and that he could eventually lose his job as a result if he did not call transgender people by their preferred names.
He did end up losing his job in 2018.
An email to Mackereth read, "If however you do not want to [use proper pronouns], we will respect your decision and your right to leave your contract."
In response, Mackereth wrote, "I am a Christian and in good conscience cannot do what the DWP is requiring of me."
The doctor is suing the government in response to the firing, insisting that it discriminated against his religious beliefs and also counted as harassment.
"The very fact a doctor can be pulled off the shop floor for an urgent interrogation about his beliefs on gender fluidity is both absurd and very sinister, even more so if it results in a dismissal," he said.
He added, "If something like that happened in a church setting — people being pulled out of a pew, questioned, and then excommunicated — that would be seen as an outrageous example of religious intolerance and bigotry."
Mackereth explained that the government discharged him from his position "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."
According to the outlet, "The DWP argues that Dr Mackereth's views are in breach of the 2010 Equality Act. APM, the recruitment company who hired the medic, is also being sued for religious discrimination. The company claims that the doctor's beliefs 'are not compatible with human dignity.'"
In a statement to the courts, Mackereth said, "I appreciate that in the present political climate, some people, including some of those who believe they are transgender, may find my beliefs to be offensive."
"However," the doctor's statement continued, "in a free society, this is not a good enough reason to censor my beliefs and coerce me to act contrary to my conscience."
Mackereth also said that the concept of transgenderism is a "rebellion against God, which is both pointless and sinful."
"I am, of course, aware that there are men or women who believe they have been trapped in a wrong body, and I do not question the sincerity of their convictions," he explained. "A small number of such people have always existed. Up until recently, such a belief was considered by medics to be delusional and a symptom of a medical disorder."
"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," he concluded.