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Submitting evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee’s inquiry into trans issues, the Evangelical Alliance has called for new legislation to ban discussions of trans people and trans lives in schools.
The 1500 word submission by the Christian group claims to be based on their assumption that ‘a person cannot change their sex’, and goes on to attack trans rights as ‘creating special privileges based on gender identity’ that ‘unnecessarily and unjustly violates [the] freedoms of others’.
The proposals ask Parliament to consider banning the discussion of trans lives and ‘certain contemporary mythologies about transsexuality’ in classrooms, ‘before they [school children] reach an appropriate age’. This echoes the 1980s legislation known in England and Wales as section 28 and in Scotland as clause 28, which labelled same sex love a ‘pretended family relationship’.
The submission refers to trans lives as ‘untruth and illusion’: ‘We believe that while human rights of transsexual people clearly should be protected, these rights must be fairly balanced against the rights of others who do not share the agendas and narratives of some of the transsexual community or their advocates and who may consider associated legislation as imposing an obligation to connive with untruth and illusion.’
The Evangelical Alliance goes on to say: ‘[W]e reject bullying in any form but have been concerned that special attention and funding has been given to combat certain forms of bullying such as homophobic bullying in schools when published research shows that religious bullying is at least as serious a problem.’
They also say: ‘While issues of sex and gender identity are psychologically, morally and politically controversial, all should agree that children should be protected from having to sort through such questions before they reach an appropriate age.
‘Inappropriate legislation could prevent schools, parents and employers from protecting children from what are best maintained as adult debates about sex and gender identity by trying to force accommodation of the desires of people with gender dysphoria in ways that in fact put them in an unfavourable spotlight.’
The submission also appears to recommend that teachers who are transitioning while they work should be banned, saying, ‘Children would be prematurely exposed to questions about sex and gender if, for example, a male teacher returned to school self-identifying as a woman.’
The submission also calls for the right to promote so-called ‘reparative therapy’ or ‘pray the gay away’ treatments, which have proven controversial: ‘Accordingly the rights of those who believe it is right to respond to transsexuality as a psychological condition to be treated like other psychological conditions through holistic psychotherapy, truth and common sense, compassion and personal pastoral support must continue to be protected.’
The submission closes with an assertion that allowing trans students to use gender-appropriate toilets and changing rooms would have ‘extremely serious’ implications for the ‘privacy rights of adults and children’.
In 2000, the Evangelical Alliance published Transsexuality: A Report by the Evangelical Alliance Policy Commission, which argued against trans equality.
You can read the submission in full online.