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 criticized 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.
“My daughter, who is trans, is a big fan of yours. It breaks my heart to see you post something indicating that discrimination against her is perfectly fine behaviour for an employee,” wrote Amanda Jette Knox. “The world’s most credible medical (organizations) affirm trans people. Please catch up.”
“I’m not here to cancel JK Rowling as a person and stoke mob outrage,” said Eugene Gu. “I’m just here to educate and inform. Trans rights are human rights and trans women are women.”
–With files from Global News