J.K. Rowling backs sacked worker in transgender speech case

by Adela Suliman | @adela_suliman | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 19 December 2019 18:39 GMT

Author J.K. Rowling attends the premiere of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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The British author backed a woman who lost her job for tweeting that people cannot alter their biological sex

By Adela Suliman

LONDON, Dec 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - J.K. Rowling on Thursday backed a British woman who lost her job for tweeting that people cannot alter their biological sex after she lost a legal case against her employer.

Maya Forstater was sacked from the Centre for Global Development, an international think-tank, after tweeting her opposition to a British government proposal that would make it easier for transgender people to change their legal sex.

Some colleagues raised concerns that the tweets were transphobic, a charge Forstater rejected. She has said she supports everyone's human rights but maintains that it is not possible to change sex.

On Wednesday, an employment tribunal rejected her claim that she had been discriminated against for her beliefs and ruled that her sacking was lawful, sparking a response from the "Harry Potter" author.

"Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who'll have you. Live your best life in peace and security," Rowling tweeted.

"But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya." Rowling, who has nearly 15 million Twitter followers, got thousands of likes and retweets on the social media platform, with some praising her for having the courage to share her views.

But others criticised her for the tweet.

"I love JK Rowling. But I won't ignore it when she openly tweets things that are harmful to the trans community," tweeted Tessa Netting.

(Reporting by Adela Suliman @Adela_Suliman; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking and property rights. Visit http://news.trust.org for more stories.)

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