April 27, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — According to The Telegraph, UK Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss has announced that the British government will be taking steps to ban children from undergoing sex-change surgeries before age 18. This is a genuinely stunning move: While regular readers will know that I preferred Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the anti-Semitic socialist Jeremy Corbyn, I was not optimistic that Johnson’s government would actually enact any socially conservative policies.
It is a sign of the times, of course, that a law banning the genital mutilation of children with gender dysphoria is even necessary. The United Kingdom has seen a breathtaking spike of children identifying as transgender over the past several years — the British government vowed to investigate why there was a 4,000 percent increase in children seeking to “transition” in less than a decade back in 2018, and the British press has drawn attention to the fact that many who have chosen to transition have gone on to regret their decision.
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At the moment, children under age 18 are permitted to begin “transitioning” as long as they have parental permission, but Truss has now stated that the Tory government plans to ban “genital reconstructive surgery” in order to “protect them from making those irreversible decisions” — at least until they are older. Trans groups, unsurprisingly, have pushed back, claiming that preventing children from making a decision that will dictate the course of the rest of their lives before they are legally allowed to drink, smoke, or vote is introducing “a new form of inequality into British medical practice.”
A representative of the trans group Mermaids, an organization that claims to support transgender children, stated that this inequality was transparent due to the fact that such a ban would be “effectively treating transgender teenagers as less capable than their cisgender peers.” This criticism rather misses the point, as presumably this ban would prevent anyone under 18, regardless of how they choose to identify, from undergoing a sex-change surgery.
Fortunately, the government appears to reject that view, with Truss stating that the move was aimed at “making sure that the under 18s are protected from decisions they could make, that are irreversible in the future … I believe strongly that adults should have the freedom to lead their lives as they see fit, but I think it’s very important that while people are still developing their decision-making capabilities that we protect them from making irreversible decisions.”
The details of the government’s plans have not yet been revealed (and won’t be until summer), and Truss only indicated that this is the path currently being planned while giving evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee earlier this month regarding reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. In addition to the proposed ban, Truss also stated that the government will be moving to protect “single-sex spaces,” which seems to indicate willingness to ensure that simply identifying as female will not be enough to access female-only facilities.
According to The Telegraph, Truss stated that the government would be working to protect transgender rights “whilst maintaining the proper checks and balances in the system.” This, of course, will not be good enough for trans activists, who state vehemently that denying biological males identifying as female access to female-only spaces, expressing concern that the transgender phenomenon among children is unprecedented and dangerous, and that saying “transition” — especially when pursued at a young age — can destroy lives renders you an ugly transphobe.
The government will be facing a firestorm from the LGBT movement in the months ahead, as this proposal marks one of the first significant government pushbacks to their agenda in years. I’m very encouraged that Johnson’s Conservative government appears to be willing to actually implement a common-sense agenda on this issue, but the trans movement is sure to utilize every weapon in their arsenal — and there are many — to stop this from actually becoming a reality. The good news is that the majority of people feel that the trans movement has gone too far on many fronts, and if the government presents its case as calmly and as reasonably as Truss has thus far, this is a fight they can win.
And if it can be done in the United Kingdom, it can be done elsewhere. We should all be watching these developments very closely.
Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, Marvin Olasky, editor-in-chief of WORLD magazine and author of pro-life books, discusses the true history of the pro-life movement and what it can teach us about winning the culture war. Olasky points to the long history of abortion before Roe v. Wade to highlight the fact that fighting abortion on a strictly legal front will only get us so far since it is truly a cultural issue.
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