Gender critical

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Gender critical beliefs, such as the view that sex is fixed and should not be conflated with gender identity, are protected in law under the Equality Act 2010. Genspect define Gender critical as an outlook that believes that gender is a social construction, and – unlike biology, which is an objective reality – is neither an innate, essential nor deterministic quality.

In June 2021 Maya Forstater, who lost her job after saying that people cannot change their biological sex, won an appeal against an employment tribunal decision. Maya Forstater, 47, did not have her contract renewed after posting tweets on gender recognition [1]. She lost her original case at a tribunal in 2019, but a High Court judge ruled her "gender-critical" beliefs fell under the Equalities Act [2]. In June 2023 Forstater was awarded more than £100,000 in compensation by an employment tribunal [3]. Further examples of legal action were cited in an article in The Guardian in January 2024 [4]. In February 2024 The Green Party was judged to have discriminated against former deputy leader Dr Shahrar Ali during a row over his gender critical beliefs [5].

In 2022 the documentary feature film Adult Human Female was produced looking at the clash between women’s rights and trans ideology [6]. In 2023 Channel 4 broadcast Gender Wars featuring Kathleen Stock, a target of some transgender campaigners.

A number of groups have emerged which tend towards being called Gender Critical, such as LGBAlliance, Lesbian Labour[7],Sex Matters, LGB Liberal Forum, LGB Christians, Sex Matters to Quakers.


  1. Ms Forstater, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, did not have her contract renewed at the think tank Center for Global Development (CGD) in March 2019, after posting a series of tweets questioning government plans - which were later scrapped - to let people declare their own gender
  2. . Maya Forstater v CGD Europe UKEAT/0105/20/JOJ, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) found that gender-critical beliefs, such as the view that sex is fixed and should not be conflated with gender identity, did qualify for protection under the Equality Act 2010 (Equality Act). This means that “gender critical” beliefs are protected “philosophical beliefs” for equality law purposes
  3. Woman who lost job after tweeting view on biological sex awarded £100,000 The Guardian 1 July 2023
  4. 'A politically toxic issue’: the legal battles over gender-critical beliefs 19 January 2024
  5. (accessed 9 February 2024)
  6. (accessed 6 June 2023)