Chambers of Justice discriminated against gender-critical lawyer, court rules | Genre

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A lawyer who tweeted criticism of the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall’s stance on trans rights has been unlawfully discriminated against and victimized because of his views, an employment tribunal has found.

Allison Bailey, founder of the gender-critical group LGB Alliance, has sued Garden Court Chambers (GCC) and Stonewall, claiming the latter ordered or induced discrimination from its chambers.

A judge-led panel agreed with Bailey that she had been directly discriminated against by GCC on the basis of her gender views, previously considered a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act in the Maya Forstater case.

The panel, led by labor judge Sarah Goodman, said GCC was wrong to release a statement saying Bailey was being investigated over his tweets after complaints, including from Stonewall, that they were transphobic, and later conclude that two of the tweets were likely to have violated a lawyer’s essential duties. However, he denied her claim against Stonewall.

GCC, who was a member of the charity’s Diversity Champions program, argued that Bailey’s tweets went beyond expressing her critical gender views and resulted in abuse.

But the panel, in its judgment on Thursday, said: ‘We have concluded that his beliefs, not only about gender identity, but about the pernicious effect of Stonewall’s campaign promoting gender identity, were genuine. . We also found that these were beliefs, not just opinions that could change with new evidence.

The panel rejected Bailey’s claim that GCC employees had refused him work because of discrimination, but awarded him £22,000 compensation for hurt feelings.

After GCC’s investigation, Bailey was asked to delete two tweets but refused to do so.

In one, she tweeted thanking The Times for “fairly and accurately reporting the appalling levels of intimidation, fear and coercion that fuel @stonewalluk’s trans self-identification agenda. “.

In the other, she said the charity had hired “a person with a male body who runs workshops for the sole purpose of coaching straight men who identify as lesbians on how they can coerce young people. lesbians to have sex with them”.

Responding to the ruling, Bailey, who has funded over £500,000 in legal costs, said she took up the case to bring Stonewall’s methods “in the public eye”.

She said: “It’s a vindication for anyone, like me, who opposes the erasure of biological sex, women and same-sex attraction as material realities. It represents an acknowledgment legal proceedings for the abuses committed against us.

Bailey had also claimed indirect discrimination, arguing that the gender-sensitive movement “is made up mostly of women and disproportionately lesbians” and that these groups were therefore more likely to be disadvantaged by chamber policies.

But the panel rejected that claim. He said he “could not conclude that Garden Court Chambers as a whole had a practice of treating gender beliefs as bigoted”. He also said that while there was such a practice, there was not enough evidence to show that women or lesbians were disproportionately affected.

GCC said it plans to appeal the judgment. A spokesperson said: “We have maintained throughout that our members, quite reasonably, have differing views in the complex debate over trans and gender-based rights. Our main goal has always been to uphold our values ​​and maintain an inclusive and welcoming workplace for all.

A spokesman for Stonewall said he was pleased the complaint against him was dismissed. “The case heard by the labor court did not accurately reflect our intentions and our influence on the organizations,” they said. “Leaders within organizations are responsible for the organizational culture and behavior of their employees and workers. Stonewall’s resources, support and guidance are just a set of things they use to help them think through how best to meet their own organization’s needs. »

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