This recent excellent answer discusses the Grainger test, and states:

(ii) It must be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available.

Particularly, a political view believed because of evidence rather than ideology would fail point (ii).

There is further clarification of this point in this answer:

This criterion draws from McClintock v Department of Constitutional Affairs, [2007] UKEAT 0223/07. There the tribunal explained (at para. 45):

it is not enough "to have an opinion based on some real or perceived logic or based on information or lack of information available." Mr McClintock had not as a matter of principle rejected the possibility that single sex parents could ever be in a child's best interests; he felt that the evidence to support this view was unconvincing but did not discount the possibility that further research might reconcile the conflict which he perceived to exist.

In McClintock,

The appellant [McClintock] was a Justice of the Peace. He sat on the Family Panel which, inter alia, places children for adoption. He objected to the possibility that he might be required to place a child with a same sex couple. The reason he gave was that he considered that there was insufficient evidence that this was in the child's best interests and he felt that children should not be treated like guinea pigs in the name of politically correct legislation.

In that case, the first-level tribunal and the appeal tribunal both agreed that this objection was not rooted in any religious or philisophical belief; it was based instead on (in McClintock's view) insufficient or equivocal evidence about the harm that might come to children when placed with same sex parents.

This can be contrasted with the case of Maya Forstater where her belief that “men cannot change into women” was held to be a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act.

Many people who hold "gender critical" beliefs justify them with evidence and appeals to science. An example of this many be Gender Hurts by Sheila Jeffreys though I have not read more than the abstract. Some of that:

[The book] explores the effects of transgenderism on the lesbian and gay community, the partners of people who transgender, children who are identified as transgender and the people who transgender themselves, and argues that these are negative.

Would someone who justifies the exact same beliefs held by Maya Forstater with appeals to objective evidence in the form "Observation X and Y support the belief Z" (like most science is) receive protection for their views under the Equality Act?

  • Perhaps a trite summary would be something like "You get protection under the Equalities Act if you hold beliefs in spite of the evidence, rather than because of the evidence".
    – brhans
    Sep 6, 2023 at 20:09
  • It’s the equality act not the equalities act. Sep 11, 2023 at 17:10
  • Personally to be honest the tribunals’ findings don’t seem right to be. Based on what I’ve seen here the essence of the beliefs that were being put forth by McClintock that formed the basis of his objections were deeper more enduring values and it seems as though he did not do a good job of putting them across in a helpful way. The fact that he was sufficiently committed to them to bring forward and to further appeal the legal battle alone tells me that. It seems that his more salient and poignant belief was rather in the importance of putting childrens’ welfare precautiously before the Sep 11, 2023 at 17:13
  • desires and proclivities of adults, and a belief in a conservative approach in accordance with something that may be referred to as the precautionary principle. Sep 11, 2023 at 17:14


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