Carys Moseley writes about the transgender issue. She argues that far from being a single issue that only affects a small number of individuals, transgenderism is the defining issue of our time, as it concerns our very nature as male and female.
The transgender issue is not a single issue in today’s society that can be conveniently ignored or avoided simply because only a small number of individuals claim to be transgender. It is one of the major defining issues of our time.
Mind or soul and body
This is because in the beginning God created humans in His image and male and female, and this for the purpose of having children. As such ‘male’ and ‘female’ here clearly refer to biological sex and not any belief about ‘gender identity’. The Bible refers many times to human beings having a soul or spirit or mind, sometimes using the metaphor of the ‘breath of God’ for this. This makes it clear that the soul or spirit or mind is not bodily, and as such cannot be male or female. The transgender movement opposes these truths about human nature. It claims that people can be ‘born in the wrong body’ or have a ‘mismatch’ with the mind of one sex and the body of another, a belief for which there is no scientific evidence. It is worth noting that the 2016 ILGA survey found that less than one third of British people believe that transgender people are born with this condition. Most people either believe that people become transgender, choose to be so or do not know what to think.
Gender dysphoria is the current diagnostic term used in medicine for this condition whereby a person of one biological sex ‘identifies with’ or wishes to live as a member of the opposite sex, believing themselves to belong psychologically to the opposite sex. This condition is psychological and is found in people who have no known biological abnormality in relation to their sex which could have given rise to it. It is distinct from any Disorder of Sexual Development, some of which are commonly known as ‘intersex’ conditions. These are biological conditions whereby individuals have a mix of male and female characteristics, detectable at birth or in adolescence. Following the International Classification of Diseases laid down by the World Health Organisation, data concerning the diagnosis and treatment for gender dysphoria is recorded separately from data about Disorders of Sexual Development.
Government plans to make changing legal gender easier
In July 2017 the UK government announced that it would open a consultation this autumn on its plans to change the Gender Recognition Act to make it easier for people who consider themselves to be transgender to change their gender legally. However recently the Sunday Times revealed that according to UK government sources close to Justine Greening, “the consultation would not now happen before the end of November”. The reason is that “Ministers are increasingly conscious that the issue is a ‘can of worms’”, with more and more MPs from both Conservatives and Labour asking questions. In other words, government ministers and officials are starting to wake up to the very serious problems that we and others have been raising for some time now about transgender issues.
How transgender rights became enshrined in UK statute law
The Gender Recognition Act was passed in 2004 because the UK government lost a court case brought forward by a transsexual/transgender rights activist at the European Court of Human Rights. That case allowed transsexuals/transgender people to change the sex on their birth certificates to be in line with the sex they believe themselves to belong to. This is ultimately all down to the fact that on 12 September 1989 the European Parliament called on the Council of Europe – an institution which unlike the European Parliament is not part of the European Union – to enact a convention for the protection of the ‘rights’ of transsexuals’. On 29 September 1989 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation 1117 proposed by the Italian far left MEP Stefano Rodotà. This then set the scene for the combination of transsexual rights activism and judicial activism at the European Court of Human Rights.
Just before the Gender Recognition Bill was tabled in the House of Lords, the Department for Constitutional Affairs of Tony Blair’s New Labour government published a Final Regulatory Impact Assessment for it. The Department believed that if the government did not pass the Bill, it would be open to further litigation. The impact on the rest of society was not seriously assessed at all.
Given that in reality numerous problems have arisen since then, the time is ripe for a thorough assessment of the effect the Gender Recognition Act has had on the United Kingdom, but also for assessment of legal and policy changes promoting transsexualism made before its passing.
Why change the Gender Recognition Act now?
The real question that needs to be asked is why is this change to make self-identification as transgender easier happening, and why now? The government has said that the law will be changed so that people who identify themselves as transgender will be able to change their legal gender without first having to have ‘medical checks’. Currently the law requires a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the signature of two doctors for an adult aged 18 or over to be considered transgender and allowed to have a Gender Recognition Certificate.
The effect of transgender activism on the NHS
In 1999 North West Lancashire Health Authority lost an appeal against three transgender campaigners, as a result of which NHS trusts were no longer allowed to have policies banning gender reassignment surgery. They had to offer surgery. The court case depended on acceptance of the claim that transsexualism is a mental illness. It is therefore extremely hypocritical of transgender activists now to turn round and argue that transgenderism isn’t a mental illness, and that medical checks, by NHS doctors, is unnecessary and even ‘intrusive’. This is quite extraordinary after the NHS has spent millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on gender reassignment surgery and cross-sex hormones.
Since the passing of the Gender Recognition Act, NHS policy across the United Kingdom on gender dysphoria has been taken over by transgender activists and their allies. This is why treatment protocols for some time now in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have allowed GPs to refer all patients who consider themselves to have gender dysphoria straight to a Gender Identity Clinic, thus bypassing the need for initial assessment by psychiatrists. This means patients are not being screened for any psychiatric disorders which could be the root of their desire or feeling that they belong to the opposite sex or gender. NHS Wales has until recently required GPs to refer all patients to psychiatrists in the local NHS board, although the Welsh government has now capitulated to transgender activists’ demands and announced a new treatment pathway whereby a ‘gender team’ will accept direct referrals from GPs.
Far fewer people have had genital gender reassignment surgery than have had cross-sex hormones and surgery aimed at making them look like ‘passable’ members of the opposite sex/gender with their clothes on. Not only is this because there are people out there who want to be sexual hybrids (raising the question of why should our taxes pay for their bizarre sexual fantasies), but also there aren’t enough surgeons working in this field, perhaps unsurprising as this goes against the real purpose of medicine which is to heal sick bodies, not to mutilate healthy ones. Certainly after Brexit, and due to the squeeze on NHS funding, the NHS cannot afford and certainly cannot justify spending more money on gender reassignment surgery. This is undoubtedly the real reason why the UK government has said that it intends to allow people to change their legal gender without having undergone ‘medical checks’. The government is couching all this in the language of transgender rights yet the recent NHS England consultation on the future of adult Gender Identity Services had an Equality Impact Assessment suggesting certain categories of people e.g. people with ‘acute mental and physical health problems’ would no longer be allowed gender reassignment.
An attack on children, families and marriage
The Scottish government has just opened its own consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act, and proposes that children under 16 as well as adults be allowed to change their legal gender. This proposal has already been slammed as ‘state-sponsored child abuse’. Less well-publicised but equally immoral is the fact that the Scottish government asks whether or not it should be ‘possible to apply for and obtain legal gender recognition without any need for spousal consent’ (Question 7). This would effectively force a woman married to a man who insists on legally becoming a woman to accept this change. Historically women married to such men have tended to divorce them, as these men violated the marriage covenant. A change in the law could mean that a woman who refused to consent could end up being divorced by the husband and punished by the law for standing up to this violation of marriage. This arrogant demand for absolute acceptance of transgenderism of course is what Stonewall’s slogan ‘Acceptance without exception’ is all about: forcing everybody else to accept this on pain of legal punishment and social ostracism.
Transgender ideology has infiltrated the education sector
For some time now schools have been put under a great deal of pressure to conform to and promote transgender ideology. Teachers increasingly fear losing their jobs if they speak out about concerns. It is disputes over the interpretation of the the Equality Act 2010 which has led to this climate, as unlike the Gender Recognition Act (2004) does not specify a lower age-limit for a person’s right to be considered transgendered. The Gender Recognition Act says you have to be 18 or over. Primary-aged children are being upset and traumatised by the fact that other children are allowed to come to school presenting themselves as members of the opposite sex or gender.
Sacrificing women’s safety to appease criminals and activists
There has been mounting public concern about the fact that male-to-female transgender offenders are allowed to be housed in women’s prisons. The official policy of the Ministry of Justice is that transgender prisoners should be allowed to go to the prison of the gender with which they identify, unless they are sex offenders. Nevertheless we now have a situation where a male rapist has been moved to a women’s prison. This goes against the Biblical understanding of government that it is to punish bad conduct.
Recently TopShop very quickly bowed to pressure from a male transgender activist who complained that he should be allowed into their female changing rooms. TopShop’s response was to change all their changing rooms to be gender-neutral. TopShop’s capitulation illustrates what was said by women’s rights campaigners in the House of Commons recently, which is that the Equality Act 2010 needs to be amended so that services users of single-sex facilities, services and premisses need to have the legal right to have a say over these things. At present only the managers have the right to make a decision.
The columnist Allison Pearson has warned that government departments have been infiltrated by pro-transgender rights activists. This is evident when we study the policies rolled out by departments on all the topics listed above.
We are being forced by the law, governments and transgender ideology rolled out across the public sector to accept the notion of ‘gender identity’, to accept that it is normal for a person’s gender identity to differ from their sex, and to prioritise a person’s self-identified gender identity above their sex at all levels of legislation and public policy. Those who disagree are increasingly being attacked as ‘transphobic’ and ‘bigoted’ and accused of hate speech in the press and on social media. This hostile and punitive attitude is a problem across the western world. People have been harassed, abused, lost their jobs, prohibited from public debate, been kicked out of coffee shops for debating trans issues, and one has even been the victim of attempted murder for challenging or seeming to challenge transgender ideology. Enough is enough.
Far from being a single issue only relevant to individuals, the transgender issue is relevant to everybody across the UK. The time is ripe for a thorough assessment of how the Gender Recognition Act (2004) has affected British society and institutions across the board. Fundamental freedoms, safety, public health and public order are at stake.