J. K. ROWLING has congratulated a barrister awarded £22,000 after a judge found her bosses had discriminated against her because she holds “gender-critical” beliefs.
Allison Bailey alleged her employer Garden Court Chambers began investigating her after pressure from LGBT charity Stonewall.
A tribunal has now found Garden Court discriminated against Ms Bailey by publishing a tweet saying a probe had been launched into her behaviour.
The workplace was also wrong to uphold a claim by Stonewall which argued that two of Ms Bailey’s tweets were “likely to breach” the Bar Standards Board’s “core duties”, it was found.
Following the judgement, Harry Potter author Rowling said: “Allison Bailey is a heroine to me and innumerable other feminists for refusing to abandon her beliefs and principles in the fact of intimidation and discrimination.
“Congratulations. And I couldn’t be prouder of my friend.”
The row began in December 2018, when Ms Bailey, 52, complained to her colleagues about Garden Court becoming a Stonewall Diversity Champion. She claimed the charity promotes “trans extremism”.
She was also asked by her bosses to take down two tweets, one of which blasted the “appalling levels of intimidation, fear and coercion” behind Stonewall’s self-identification “agenda”.
The following year, Ms Bailey – a lesbian gay rights champion – alleges the chambers withheld work from her.
However, the tribunal dismissed a claim relating to her loss of income, as well as a second allegation that Stonewall had instructed the chambers to discriminate against her.
Despite that, a reserved judgment handed down on Tuesday upheld Ms Bailey’s claim that Garden Court discriminated against her because of her beliefs.
The judgement relates to tweets written and posted by the chambers.
The posts said complaints against Ms Bailey would be investigated, and that two of her tweets were likely to breach barristers’ core duties.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ms Bailey said: “This is a vindication for all those who, like me, object to the erasure of biological sex, of women, and of same sex attraction as material realities.
“It represents judicial recognition of the abuse waged against us.”
The chambers has been ordered to pay out for injury to Ms Bailey’s feelings.
Bosses say they may yet appeal.
What is Stonewall?
Stonewall was set up in the 1980s in response to legislation known as Section 28.
The law prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools.
It has since successfully campaigned for gay and lesbian rights.
However, in more recent times, the charity has attracted growing criticism for its new focus on trans rights.
It’s alleged the organisation has taken an “extremist stance” and aggressively tried to shut down debate.
Its Diversity Champions programme is designed to promote workplaces “where LGBTQ+ people are free to be themselves and can live their lives to the full”.
However, Ms Bailey alleged in her case that companies and public bodies that sign up to the £2,500-a-year scheme are pressed to embrace its ideology of transgender self-identification.