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24 Jun, 2019 16:18

UK academic faces dismissal over criticism of LGBT training in universities

UK academic faces dismissal over criticism of LGBT training in universities

A UK lecturer, who claims she’s been branded a transphobe by students after signing an open letter to the Sunday Times that criticized LGBT training, insists she will not “recant” her signature despite the risk of being fired.

Sarah Honeychurch, a fellow in the Adam Smith Business School at Glasgow University, signed a letter along with 30 academics registering their “disquiet” over a program run by the charity Stonewall.

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In the letter, Honeychurch and her colleagues condemn the “anti-scientific claims” that are “presented… as objective fact” contained in the training literature. The lecturer is unrepentant, insisting she had given the letter much thought before signing it.

I’m not going to recant — I signed that letter after hard thought because people get so much abuse simply for wanting discussion.

It comes after Honeychurch, who is an editor of the journal Hybrid Pedagogy, received a formal email from the managing editor of the publication, Chris Friend. He tells Honeychurch that unless he has misunderstood the intentions of the letter, “I must ask that you resign your position as editor for HPJ.”

Guidance included in the training program instructs academics to use gender neutral pronouns such as “zie” and “ey,” as well as insisting that “one in 100 are born with an intersex trait.” In addition, trans women should be allowed to use female changing rooms.

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Honeychurch said she had been labeled a transphobe by students for signing the letter and remained concerned that her Glasgow university contract might not be renewed.

Another signatory to the letter, Michele Moore, honorary professor at Essex University, is also facing calls to resign after warning that autistic and other kids might be harmed if they are wrongly encouraged to question their gender.

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