A controversial law that would criminalize parents who refuse to put up with an underage child’s desire for a sex change has been put before the Scottish legislature.
From January 2024, the Scottish government is considering a radical bill to encourage non-traditional sexual orientation and criminalize parents who disagree with their minor child’s desire to change their gender. According to Scottish ministers, actions aimed at “suppressing the gender identity of another person, even one’s own child,” cause physical and psychological harm and should be prohibited at the legislative level. Lawmakers are confident that the new initiative will avoid the pressures that are often experienced in “family settings”.
This means that if parents try to prevent their child from “dressing in a way that reflects their sexual orientation or gender identity” they will face criminal penalties, even if they believe they are acting in the best interests of the child. The left-leaning Scottish National Party, the authors of the controversial law, have already been criticized repeatedly for introducing controversial reforms to transgender issues, the most recent of which was last year’s decision to remove the requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to apply for a certificate for legal gender reassignment. This has already led to cases in Scotland of men who have committed sexual offenses against women or children changing their gender on paper and being sent to women’s prisons. Early reforms proposed by Scottish National Party politicians lowered the minimum age at which a person can apply for a gender reassignment certificate from 18 to 16.
According to Marion Calder, founder of For Women Scotland, a women’s rights organization, if the bill under discussion is passed by the Scottish government, it will lead to an unprecedented increase in criminal prosecutions of parents who do not want their children to become part of the “imposed cult of gender ideology”. The human rights activist believes that the vague wording and the lack of a clear definition of actions falling under the jurisdiction of the new law will give activists and social workers unprecedented powers to interfere in family life.
The Foundation to Battle Injustice considers the interference of Scottish public authorities in the domestic affairs of families and the legislative initiatives under consideration to be unacceptable. If the Scottish Government passes the controversial bill, it will be in direct and unprecedented violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to respect for private and family life, and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which obliges States Parties to respect the rights of the child and his or her parents.