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UK Prime Minister Boris JohnsonWPA Pool / Getty

LONDON (LifeSiteNews) – On April 6, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined the heated debate over the transgender movement’s societal takeover, stating bluntly that biological males should be barred from female sporting events and noting his view that parents should have some say in whether their children are put on the path to “transition”—a now-controversial view as the trans movement fights to get between children and parents.

The comments came as the Tories are split over a so-called “conversion therapy ban”—Johnson has stated that this ban should not include transgender people, while some backbenchers and Scottish Tories vehemently disagree. 

“I don’t think that it’s reasonable for kids to be deemed so-called Gillick-competent to take decisions about their gender or irreversible treatments that they might have,” Johnson stated during a visit to a hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

“I think there should be parental involvement, at the very least. I don’t think that biological men should be competing in female sporting events. We will have a ban on gay conversion therapy, which to me is utterly abhorrent. But there are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the areas of sexuality to the question of gender. There, I’m afraid, there are things that I think still need to be worked out.” 

Johnson, who has frequently backtracked on his commitments to protect female-only spaces and has vacillated on the transgender issue, stated that he is still working through his position. “That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue,” he noted.

“If that puts me in conflict with some others, then we have got to work it all out. That doesn’t mean I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition. It’s vital that we give people the maximum possible love and support in making those decisions. But these are complex issues and I don’t think they can be solved with one swift, easy piece of legislation. It takes a lot of thought to get this right.” 

However, many politicians who support the transgender agenda are falsely accusing Johnson of backing “conversion therapy” for “transgender children.” Labour MP Angela Rayner called Johnson a “liability,” while homosexual Tory MP Elliot Colburn called the comments “a massive own goal”; the Scottish Tory “gender reform spokesperson” Meghan Gallacher stated that: “As our manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliament election made clear, we are in favor of a ban on the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy.”

Wales says it may bring in its own ban; Scotland may do the same, rejecting a cautious approach that would closely examine a hotly contested issue.  

Those condemning Johnson’s caution almost universally ignore the reality that many children are being subjected to lifelong medicalization after taking “treatments” that cause irreversible damage—an issue that is still working its way through the U.K. courts. They also refuse to address the fact that women and girls are dropping out of sports rather than compete against biological males, as well as horror stories of male sex criminals being locked up in female prisons—and promptly reoffending. Politicians backing the transgender movement are presenting the issue as eminently simple, rejecting the Health Secretary’s comments that “when it comes to trans, I do think we need to be more careful.” 

RELATED: Scotland moves convicted transgender sex criminals into women’s prisons

The Health Secretary noted that a report authored by Dr. Hilary Cass called for caution. “She talked about how children and young people, when they say they have gender dysphoria, it is right for medical experts to be able to question that and determine what the cause might be. Is it a genuine case of gender identity dysphoria, or could it be that the individual is suffering from child sex abuse, for example, or could it be linked to bullying?” Prior studies have noted that almost 80 percent of children eventually grow out of gender dysphoria. The “conversion therapy ban” as written could prevent therapists from actually helping gender dysphoric children become comfortable in their own bodies.

In response, backbencher Alicia Kearns repulsively accused the Johnson government of targeting transgender people: “What makes trans people deserve to be abused? That’s the [question] to every person supporting this decision.” 

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit Opportunities Minister and a devout Catholic, cut through the noise with a simple statement: “I think, as often, the Bible gives the best answer to this: Genesis 127. ‘God made man in His own image. He made man and he made woman, he made both of them.’”

Those attacking the caution of the Johnson government, however, found an unlikely ally: Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who signed a letter sent to the prime minister urging him to include transgenderism in the “conversion therapy ban.” The letter states that there is “no justification for the ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ excluding trans people” and that “[t]o be trans is to enter a sacred journey of becoming whole.” A number of other pro-LGBT religious leaders also lent their signature to the letter. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is no social conservative, is under immense pressure from the transgender movement and their allies to sign a law that would transform the U.K. further and deny thousands of gender dysphoric children the help they badly need. If he buckles, the damage to many young lives will be irreversible.

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.