"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling is facing backlash after tweeting support for a researcher who has a history of making transphobic comments online. Rowling on Thursday tweeted her support for Maya Forstater, who lost a court case against her former employer this week.
The Centre for Global Development, an inequality think tank, decided not to renew Forstater's contract earlier this year after she used discriminatory language against transgender people on social media, specifically transgender women.
"Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who'll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill," Rowling tweeted Thursday morning.
In March, Forstater publicly opposed a potential update to the U.K. Gender Recognition Act that would allow people to self-identify their gender without having to undergo medical procedures.
A judge ruled on Wednesday that Forstater's language violates the "dignity" of transgender people. He called her language intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive.
"What I am so surprised at is that smart people who I admire, who are absolutely pro-science in other areas, and champion human rights & womens rights are tying themselves in knots to avoid saying the truth that men cannot change into women (because that might hurt mens feelings)," read one of Forstater's tweets on transgender women.
Rowling's support of Forstater quickly sparked widespread criticism. Several accused her of being a TERF, an acronym for a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
"Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. CC: JK Rowling," The Human Rights Campaign tweeted.
In a statement, Anthony Ramos, GLAAD's Head of Talent, said Rowling "has now aligned herself with an anti-science ideology that denies the basic humanity of people who are transgender."
"Trans men, trans women, and non-binary people are not a threat, and to imply otherwise puts trans people at risk. Now is the time for allies who know and support trans people to speak up and support their fundamental right to be treated equally and fairly," Ramos said.