Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been criticised after lending her support to Maya Forstater, a thinktank researcher who lost her employment tribunal after her opinions on sex were ruled "absolutist".
Forstater lost her job as a tax expert at the Centre for Global Developments after tweeting that transgender women cannot change their biological sex while voicing opposition to government proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act.
Judge James Taylor ruled that Forstater's views did “not have the protected characteristic of philosophical belief”.
Responding to the verdict on Wednesday, Forstater tweeted: "I struggle to express the shock and disbelief I feel at reading this judgment."
In a message to Twitter, Rowling defended Forstater and used the hashtag utilised by her supporters "#IStandWithMaya".
She wrote: "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.
“But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill."
Dress however you please.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
But some were not pleased with the stance Rowling publicly decided to take, and fired back at her.
Charlotte Clymer, press secretary for US LGBTQ+ advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign, responded: "In fact, the World Health Organization--among countless other medical authorities--validate trans people in their authentic gender identity.
It is quite clear you don't understand the first thing about the trans community or the science at play. This is heartbreaking."
Another user shared: "The saddest thing is that the woman who inspired millions of kids to be good to each other, include each other despite our differences and stand up against those who would oppress us - is now a bigot herself. Good job."
This is incredibly disappointing to see, from someone whose writing espouses so much kindness. Ms. Forstater has the right to think what she pleases, but she does not have the right to expect that employers will always be okay with that. Trans people have to go to work too.— Louisa 🌈👭 (@LouisatheLast) December 19, 2019
I grew up as a trans child reading your books as an escape. I would often pick out names from characters to give to myself, before I ever felt comfortable in who I was. This decision, to support people that hate me, and want to do me harm. It brings me to tears... Why. Why?— Noel is entering peak holiday spirit (@notafootstool) December 19, 2019
However, Rowling did receive support from some, including journalist Hadley Freeman who replied: "Thank you, JK Rowling."
Meanwhile, writer Julie Bindel shared: "YOU ARE AMAZING."