Activists hurry to limit free speech as doctors reject gender ideology

1, December 2022

The Australian journalist, Bernard Lane, this weekend wrote of a landmark court case in his own country, in which the judge was being asked to rule over whether a child could receive puberty-blocking drugs.

The case settled before it proceeded to a judgement, when an expert witness ‘abruptly withdrew a recommendation of puberty blockers’.

This court case was particularly notable, says Lane, because unlike previous cases, multiple expert witnesses argued against giving the child the experimental drugs.

It shows the tide is turning in Australia, as in the UK, with the formerly one-sided debate now shifting towards protecting children from gender-change ‘treatments’. Increasing numbers of doctors working with children have realised the dangers and are turning their back on ideologically driven approaches to vulnerable children.

Banning ‘conversion therapy’

But the hesitancy to support automatic affirmation among medical professionals has been met with contempt by LGBT activists.

Groups like Stonewall and Mermaids in the UK had declared there to be ‘no debate’ over transgender ideology. What they said on the matter was final, they decided, and anyone who disagreed was compared with Nazis or racists.

The tenor struck by these groups gave way to efforts to introduce broad ‘conversion therapy’ bans across the western world, despite a lack of evidence that abusive practices still take place. Instead ‘conversion therapy’ now appears to mean any disagreement with the self-identification of LGBT people.

Multiple groups have declared that ‘not affirming someone’s gender identity’ or refusing to support children receiving irreversible puberty-blocking drugs is ‘conversion therapy’. The body responsible for enforcing one such ban in Victoria, Australia says that this is exactly what the new legislation outlaws. Activists in the UK are in a hurry to get legislation modelled on Victoria’s in place, before public and medical opinion turns any further. It raises the horrific prospect of the law preventing doctors acting in their patient’s best interests.

But it clearly goes far beyond the medical sphere. It is an attack on every person’s freedom to speak out against beliefs they disagree with. It is an attack on parents’ ability to do what they know is right for their own children.

Christian teaching

The main group calling for a ban in the UK has gone so far as to say “casual conversations” and “private prayer” must be covered by a ban. It is a ludicrous assault on free speech, yet too many MPs appear afraid to admit it.

Those most likely to be impacted by such repressive legislation are Christians. The Church has been clear on sexual ethics for two thousand years. Church leaders and parents are directly in the firing line of a law which makes it difficult to speak to anyone about what the Bible teaches on marriage and identity.

Will Christians still be able to say all are made ‘male and female in the image of God’? Will they be able to say that the only place for sexual activity is in a male-female marriage?

If the activists get their way, these historic orthodox teachings of the church become a battleground when anyone who hears the message decides it is an attempt to repress or change their LGBT identity.

Christians have been in the firing line for holding these views for some time. But now many in wider society are discovering their own thinking is also wildly at odds with this radical ideology. Those who have thus far been bowing to the pressure of activists, those who welcome this legislation, must realise the dangers before it is too late.

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