Take away parents’ rights, say Scottish Govt ‘experts’
An official Report produced for the Scottish Government has recommended withdrawing parental rights if a parent is found to have engaged in ‘conversion therapy’.
It is just one of many harrowing recommendations from the Scottish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Ending Conversion Practices.
You might think that such an approach is appropriate if a parent is abusing their child – of course their rights should be restricted.
But that’s not what the Report says.
The Group recommends that the definition of conversion therapy:
“must be wide enough to encompass all acts and practices that seek to change, suppress, or inhibit someone’s sexual orientation, expression of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression”.
The Group recommends that there should not have to be a specific intent to cause harm, malice or ill-will for a person to be convicted of ‘conversion therapy’.
So, a loving parent could be criminalised for sharing God’s teaching on relationships and gender identity, if it is deemed to be an attempt to ‘change’ or ‘suppress’.
What could this look like in practice?
As a parent, your teenager who has grown up in a Christian home is experiencing same-sex attraction. They know what the Bible says about sex and relationships, and they speak to you and ask for help. So you begin to read the Bible together and pray through some of the passages about sex and relationships.
Activists say this seeks to “change, suppress, or inhibit” the teenagers’ view of their sexual orientation, so it is deemed ‘conversion therapy’.
And under these worrying proposals, if you don’t affirm your child’s identity, you could find yourself in trouble with the criminal law. Activists would say it is ‘conversion therapy’ even though it is clearly nothing of the sort. Anything that does not affirm is seen as seeking to “change, suppress, or inhibit”.
Picture this scenario: your nine-year-old son says to you that he wants to be a girl. You respond by sharing from Genesis and the Psalms that he is fearfully and wonderfully made as a boy.
By sharing Biblical truth you could be accused of attempting to “change, suppress, or inhibit” the boy’s gender identity or gender expression as a girl.
Removing parental rights
Under the section of the report titled “Children subject to conversion practices”, the Group states:
“where the perpetrator of any of the criminalised acts has parental or guardianship rights in relation to the victim, the legal consequences may include the modification or withdrawal of such rights. Where parents or guardians have engaged in conversion practices, the modification or even withdrawal of their parental or guardianship rights is envisaged as an option”.
So, your teenager chats to their form tutor at school about their struggles with same -sex attraction. They tell them that they have been reading the Bible and praying with their parents at home. For those campaigning for a new law, the form tutor should report the parents to the police for carrying out ‘conversion therapy’ and their child or children should be taken away.
State Interference in family life
Parental rights and family privacy must be respected. The Scottish Government would do well to remember Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which says: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence”.
We mustn’t forget the Scottish Government’s controversial Named Person scheme which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2016 for breaching Article 8.
The Scottish people do not want an authoritarian nanny state interfering in the lives of ordinary loving families.
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