Spain eyes up law requiring affirmation of children’s gender identity
UK conversion therapy activists like to cite legislation from other jurisdictions as a model for the UK to follow. But the recent plans put forward by the Government in Spain show just how dangerous the whole idea of banning conversion therapy is.
Spanish Ministers have promised to bring forward a new Bill, currently in draft form, which places a conversion therapy ban alongside self-identification of gender.
It makes it illegal to not affirm a child’s chosen gender. It seems the Spanish Government has overcome the difficulty of navigating the European Convention on Human Rights by simply ignoring large parts of it.
While it is uncertain exactly how the Spanish Parliament will react to the Bill, there has been strong opposition to the plans. If the Bill is adopted, it will enshrine hard-core LGBT ideology into law for years to come.
Not only does it enable people to change their legal sex on official identity documents at will, but it allows children to do so from the age of just twelve.
No medical evidence is required and, for adults at least, the Government has set a maximum time limit of four months for the entire process. It’s as simple as making two visits to a civil registry office.
Those aged 14-16 need parental consent. But if their parents disagree, the State will appoint an ‘advocate’ who can override them. For those aged 12-14, their request must be considered by the courts.
Allowing children who are still developing to permanently alter their legal records with almost no safeguards is a disastrous plan. But the Spanish Government wants to go further still, by applying similar provisions to under-twelves.
While younger children will not be allowed to change their sex on legal documents, the Bill will allow them to change their name. It also demands that public bodies, ‘private entities’ and ‘any natural or legal person with whom they are related’ treat those who have changed their name according to ‘the sex with which they identify’.
It seems parents and teachers will be punished for not affirming a child’s gender identity.
Even where the child has not changed their name, the draft Bill is clear that there could be severe ramifications if the sexual orientation and gender identity of a child are not 'respected' in the family environment. Respect for the child is one thing. But respecting gender identity or sexual orientation means having to go along with the current political demands of the LGBT movement. This will be disastrous for freedom of speech, parental rights, and the health of vulnerable children.
The same draft Bill includes a ban on ‘conversion therapy’. It says it will be a ‘very serious infraction’ to carry out actions, ‘in any form, aimed at modifying the sexual orientation and identity, or gender expression of people, regardless of the consent given by them’.
It is right to tackle abuse of LGBT people. But is that what this will capture? Might it not instead ban the ordinary work of churches, which discourage all sexual behaviour outside traditional marriage? Will those who refuse to affirm someone’s gender identity fall foul? This seems likely given the inclusion of gender self-ID within the same Bill. And that is exactly what the conversion therapy ban in Victoria, Australia has done.
This is not a good faith attempt to prevent the abuse of LGBT people, but a bad faith attempt to punish those who disagree with certain radical political beliefs.
Those who take clear views on these matters – Christians, feminists, and concerned parents – could face fines of between 10k and 150k Euros. It would make Spain one of the most repressive states in Europe for critics of trans ideology.
Let us hope – and pray – that our own parliamentarians do not follow them down this dark path.
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