Conservative biologist wins court case over gender view


Central Europe


Marie-Luise Vollbrecht. Photo X, Marie-Luise Vollbrecht

The German Humboldt University wants nothing to do with biologist Marie-Luise Vollbrecht for her traditional view on gender. Now, a court has ruled that the academic institution was not justified to do so.

Biologist Marie-Luise Vollbrecht defends the traditional view that there are two genders. Together with some other authors, she became known for writing an article in Die Welt in which she criticised the German public broadcasters of indoctrinating children with the transgender ideology.

In addition, the doctoral student and university employee planned to present her view in a lecture during an event of the Humboldt University called “Long Night of Science”, NZZ reports.


However, when news broke that she would deliver a speech called “Gender is not (gender) sex: sex, gender and why there are two genders in biology”, a storm of critique flooded her. Trans activists started a campaign to prevent her from speaking, and in reaction, the University cancelled her lecture. In addition, the institution distributed a press release, which read that “the opinions that Ms. Vollbrecht expressed in a “Welt” article on June 1 are not in line with the HU’s mission statement and the values it represents.”

The Berlin Administrative Court has now ruled that the University may no longer distribute these parts of the press release, which it considered derogatory statements towards Marie Vollbrecht. “The general right of personality fundamentally prohibits the state from making disparaging statements about a citizen without a justifiable reason, such as making disparaging comments on an opinion held by the citizen”, the judges stated. They criticised the fact that the University did not clarify which opinions of Vollbrecht it was referring to.

Strong signal

Vollbrecht's lawyer, Ralf Höcker, sees the ruling as a “strong signal against cancel culture at universities”, Die Tagespost writes. He called it a shame that “a supposedly excellent university degrades its own research assistant and doctoral student out of sheer fear of radical activists.”

The University can still appeal the ruling of the Berlin Administrative Court.

Other cases

Marie Vollbrecht is not the only one who stood trial for a conflict on her view on gender and sexuality. Earlier, CNE reported about the Norwegian Rianne Vogel, who was fired by the non-profit organisation Papillon after she tweeted that there were only two genders. However, a judge ruled that this dismissal was unlawful.

In Norway, Anne Kalvig, a professor from the University of Stavanger, resigned because she felt that there was no room for her conservative view on gender in the academic world. Kalvig had been working at the University for 25 years.



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