The Court of Appeal confirmed that Maya Forstater was entitled to hold the view that sex is immutable and you cannot change the sex you are born with. The Gender Critical view point. As I have said previously I did expect that. However it is not the great victory that the gender critics hoped for and in some cases are saying it is.
Although it has been established it is a protected belief, the Court went on to say that gender critical beliefs may be offensive and even profoundly distressing, have potential to result in the harassment of trans people, and might well be considered offensive and abhorrent to others and continued with the statement that mild hate speech is protected under Article 10 of the ECHR and does not justify invoking Article 17 of the EHCR. So it is not in the same league as saying someone is a Nazi.
All it is saying is that belief that sex is immutable is a protected belief and nothing more. By protecting that belief it does not stray into any other areas about single sex spaces, the use of puberty blockers, both of which are already the subject of established court findings and interpretation of statutes or does it make any comments about self ID. This is why the finding is not the great victory that the gender critical community think it is.
What was also made very clear is that just because it is a protected belief it does not give anybody the right to misgender an individual and they are subject to the normal rules about discrimination and harassment and any conduct complained of would be for an employment tribunal to determine. So it does not give the likes of Forstater to behave as it is alleged she did. I am not clear, as I have not been able to locate a full transcript of the Judgment, whether or not her behaviour has been referred back to the employment tribunal for consideration as to whether or not her behaviour was discriminatory. If it hasn’t, it should be because all the Appeal ruling is concerned with is whether her belief is a protected belief and not whether her behaviour stepped over the line and was discriminatory or amounted to harassment.
Sadly unless it is referred back to the employment tribunal for a ruling on her behaviour then many will see it as a green light to express their protected belief and it will take further decisions to clarify what is deemed to be acceptable behaviour or not.
At least the gender critical mafia have not received the landmark decision they had hoped to obtain though that has not stopped some of them hailing it as such.