Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) — The battle over transgender identity claims is raging in legislatures across Europe – with mixed results.

On April 24, the Telegraph reported that a “self-ID” law in the Netherlands, which would have allowed minors under age 16 to change their gender on legal documents such as passports and even birth certificates, is dead for the time being after a majority of MPs supported a resolution to shelve it. Seventy-three MPs supported withdrawing the bill; 70 voted against.

Many MPs seemed relieved to be able to avoid the discussion for the time being, as a recent poll showed that only a quarter of Dutch respondents to a recent national survey agreed with the statement: “People should be able to change their passport from the age of 16 without a statement from an expert.” The Netherlands currently features a “caretaker” government, as no leader has yet managed to create a large enough coalition to take power.

In a bizarre statement that highlights how much confusion the transgender movement has introduced, MP Nicolien van Vroonhoven stated, “We are absolutely not against changing sex. But it should not be too easy either. There are real risks to women’s safety. In England, for example, men are suddenly given access to women’s prisons, and that is not something we should want.” (But, of course, if those men had changed sex… wouldn’t they be women? Or does van Vroonhoven perhaps not believe that?)

On April 17, Sweden’s parliament took a different approach, voting 234-94 to lower the minimum age for legally “changing gender” from 18 to 16, making it easier to get sex change surgeries. The Guardian noted that although Sweden introduced legal sex changes in 1972, “the new proposal, aimed at allowing self-identification and simplifying the procedure, sparked an intense debate in the country.”  The law will come into effect next July; trans-identifying people will no longer need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to legally change their gender.

The most radical legislation, however, was passed by the Bundestag – German Parliament – on April 12. The Self-Determination Act contains a laundry list of trans activist demands, including the establishment of “gender identity” as a protected category, the potential for massive fines (up to €10,000) for “deadnaming” (using a person’s given name or biological sex), and even allowing parents to change their “sex marker” on the birth certificates of their children. As Reduxx reported:

But arguably the most troubling aspect of the law relates to a portion of the bill which permits parents to alter the recorded sex of children beginning from birth. From the age of five years old, it allows for name and sex changes if there is ‘mutual consent’ between the child and their parents…

If parents choose to do so, they may alter the identifying information of their children from birth. The SBGG stipulates that the consent of a child is necessary from the age of five, and ‘from the age of 14, minors can do it themselves, but require the consent of their guardians.’

However, should parents refuse to provide legal permission, ‘a family court would decide based on the best interests of the child,’ thus allowing the state to overrule the wishes of parents or legal guardians.

Considering the fact that the premises of the transgender movement have just been embedding into German law, it is not difficult to predict where the family courts would fall on this issue – or what approach courts might take to those who dare to use a trans-identifying person’s given name or biological sex. Reduxx notes that the prohibition on “deadnaming” applies even to family members, meaning that a mother or father using the name they gave their child could be prosecuted and fined for doing so. Unsurprisingly, two trans-identified male politicians were key advocates of the bill.

As in Sweden, the bill sparked fierce debate and even protests in Germany. It is interesting to see how divided Europe has become over the transgender issue. As some nations – such as the United Kingdom – have begun to reject the transgender agenda, other countries are still plunging blindly forward.

Featured Image

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.