“Gender-critical” views as a protected belief – again: Meade

The issue of what constitutes a “protected belief” for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 has come up yet again – this time, in relation to the expression of so-called “gender-critical” beliefs. Though it has only a tangential relationship with “religion”, it has a lot to do with freedom of expression and Articles 9 & 10 ECHR.


In Meade v Westminster City Council & Anor [2024] ET 2201792/2022, ET 2211483/2022, Ms Meade was a social worker with the Council. She was obliged by her professional registration to adhere to the standards set out by Social Work England, the second respondent [32]. She was a feminist with gender-critical beliefs, which included the belief that sex was immutable and not to be confused with gender identity [33].

Mr Wolton, also a social worker and a Facebook friend of Ms Meade, complained to Social Work England about what he alleged to be transphobic comments on her Facebook account. Continue reading