Christian teacher claims his faith requires him to call transgender boy ‘a girl’

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A teacher is suing his school – claiming his Christian faith requires him to misgender a transgender student.

Maths teacher Joshua Sutcliffe, from Oxford, had repeatedly refused to refer to the transgender boy by his preferred gender.

The teacher was suspended from Cherwell School after the pupil – whose identity is being kept private – complained that Mr Sutcliffe repeatedly referred to him as female.

Mr Sutcliffe refused to agree to respect the pupil’s gender, and in a letter to the school insisted his faith required him to misgender the transgender boy.


He wrote: “As a Christian, I do not share your belief in the ideology of Transgenderism. I do not believe that young children should be encouraged to self-select a ‘gender’ which may be different from their biological sex; or that everyone at school should adjust their behaviour to accommodate such a ‘transition’; or that people should be punished for lack of enthusiasm about it.

“Implementation of these ideas is detrimental to the welfare of children, which I believe should be a paramount consideration.”

The teacher launched legal action this week through the Christian Legal Centre, the legal wing of anti-LGBT activist group Christian Concern.

Christian Concern has lobbied against LGBT discrimination protections, same-sex adoptions and legal rights for gay couples, while defending gay ‘cure’ therapy

But media outlets including the BBC, The Sun and the Daily Mail once again failed to mention the group’s fringe anti-LGBT beliefs while republishing a Christian Concern press release about its latest legal action.

Mr Sutcliffe claimed that the School has “systematically and maliciously” breached his rights.

He said: “I am more than willing to answer all the unjustified allegations you are now advancing against me, and detail my own grievances about your totalitarian ‘equality’ policies and practices. However, I intend to do so before an independent Tribunal, not before yourselves acting as a judge and jury in your own case.

“I regret that our relations have reached this point, but I feel I have no choice but to bring legal proceedings against you without further notice.”

Christian teacher claims his faith requires him to call transgender boy ‘a girl’
Andrea Williams

Andrea Williams of the Christian Legal Centre added “This case is one of a flood of cases we are encountering where teachers are finding themselves silenced or punished if they refuse to fall in line with the current sexual and gender ideology being imposed on our children in schools.

“We all know how much we change during our teenage years. It is vital that during those years we help our children to live in the biological sex they were born rather than encouraging them to change ‘gender’. If we encourage them to change gender it is not kind and compassionate; it is cruel.

“What we need is a culture in our schools which gives emotional support to children through puberty without encouraging them to make life-long decisions against their natural born biological sex.

“If we collude in the transgender delusion we do not serve our children well, we harm them”.

Representatives of anti-LGBT lobbying group Christian Concern have made no fewer than 30 appearances across BBC platforms in the last year, including on the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs programmes.

The group has ties to gay ‘cure’ practitioners and has lobbied against basic protections for LGBT people in the UK.

Radio 4’s Today programme recently faced complaints after failing to disclose that ‘parents’ invited to speak about transgender rights were actually managed by Christian Concern.

On that occasion the BBC refused to answer questions from PinkNews about why it failed to disclose the link to Christian Concern.

Earlier this month in Australia, a Christian school defended its decision to dismiss a teacher for being gay.

Craig Campbell was removed from his job at South Coast Baptist College in Western Australia, after students found “evidence” about his sexuality on Facebook.

The teacher confirmed to his employers that he was gay. But rather than defend the teacher, who had been at the school for more than two years, the school’s principal sacked him.

In a statement the principal Des Mitchell insisted that Mr Campbell’s sexuality was “inconsistent” with being a teacher.

Mr Mitchell said: “I shared with him that at present there is an inconsistency with his beliefs on sexuality and the college’s beliefs.

“At the time Craig requested to be a relief teacher at SCBC, he had a very clear knowledge of the college’s Christian values and related beliefs.”

He admitted previously: “At present, for us, we choose not to employ someone who’s openly gay.”

The school is exempt from anti-discrimination schools under rules that protect faith bodies.