Ex-barrister gets right to sue over “gender critical beliefs”

Ex-barrister gets right to sue over “gender critical beliefs”

An ex-barrister who claimed he was expelled from his degree program for holding gender-critical ideas has been granted the opportunity to sue the UK Council for Psychotherapy for discrimination.

A court has allowed James Esses permission to testify before a full employment tribunal about his allegations that he was treated unfairly because of his views.

The aspiring therapist claims that the UKCP gave the Metanoia Institute in west London the order to have him dismissed from his master’s program in psychotherapy.

The UKCP tried to have his complaint dismissed at a hearing by claiming there was no proof it had authorized his dismissal from the program.

However, Employment Judge Beyzade decided that a full panel should hear the issue.

Mr. Esses has previously expressed his worries over the professional body’s stance on trans problems, especially those affecting young people.

Mr. Esses outlined the ideas he contends should warrant legal protection during a preliminary hearing.

These include the beliefs that “gender is an issue of identity depending upon a multitude of variables, including culture and socialization” and that “sex is binary, unchanging, and biological.”

It is a group of characteristics or features that are often connected to a certain sex. Even if a person could show more masculine or feminine characteristics, this does not alter their biological sex.

Mr Esses speaking on his views in a series of tweets from July 2021 - he said he is 'increasingly contacted by parents'

“Sex is distinct from and independent of gender identity. The two qualities may or may not overlap with respect to a person’s gender identification or sex, depending on the situation. This is often known as “the gender critical belief.”

Mr. Esses argued: “That gender reassignment is not de facto the appropriate treatment for all individuals experiencing gender dysphoria and that there may be such individuals who ought not to be treated in this manner immediately and/or merely by the fact of their gender dysphoria.” Mr. Esses was responding to a question about how psychotherapists approach these issues.

“Psychotherapists should explore the context and potential causes of a person’s gender dysphoria through open-ended discussion, which could in some cases encourage the person to forego a course of potentially irreversible and harmful medical intervention like puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgery.

This therapeutic strategy is equivalent to necessary, helpful, and ethical care. It must not be criminalized and should not be confused with destructive conversion therapy, which aims to change or exclude a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Mr. Esses registered for trainee membership of the UKCP in September 2020 after beginning his studies at the Metanoia Institute, which offers training in psychology, psychotherapy, and counseling, according to information provided to the central London hearing.

The UKCP’s communications staff received an email from him on January 31, 2021, expressing “his worry with a lack of balance in the discussion and debate surrounding treatment of gender dysphoria, especially for youngsters,” according to information provided to the tribunal.

A draft of an essay he had written titled “The Real “Conversion” Therapy: Puberty Blockers, Hormone Treatment, and Sex Reassignment Surgery” was attached by the author.

To “give a different perspective of this complex conversation to UKCP members and colleagues,” he requested that the organization consider publishing it.

The UKCP registrar sent him an email the next month informing him that he must adhere to the organization’s “ethical framework” in order to apply for full membership.

Additionally, he was informed that the Metanoia Institute would get his initial communication, and in April, the chief executive of the UKCP received an email from someone at the UKCP.

According to the tribunal, the email said: “We are really worried by this issue and I would want your organization’s thoughts on this topic as soon as possible.”

On May 6, 2021, Mr. Esses’s agreement with the Metanoia Institute came to an end. Three weeks later, he received an email informing him that his UKCP trainee membership had been canceled since he was no longer a student.

He said that by doing this, the two entities had victimized, harassed, and discriminated against him because of his views during the hearing in June.

The tribunal was informed that it was Mr. Esses’ case that UKCP had voiced its concerns to the Metanoia Institute over his declared views on conversion treatment.

The claimant’s contract with [the Metanoia Institute] was immediately terminated within a week, according to [he] who claims that this happened as a result of the claimant’s stated opinions on conversion treatment. [He] alleges that the two organizations then talked further about the problem.

“I do not believe it acceptable to throw down the direct discrimination because of philosophical belief allegation,” Judge Beyzade stated after reviewing the arguments.

In the absence of hearing more information, I am unable to draw the conclusion at this point in the proceedings that [his claims] have no or little realistic chances of success.

The tribunal will be in the greatest position to conduct this fact-sensitive exercise during the final hearing, according to the statement.

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