The Christian Institute has warned the Scottish Government not to adopt schools guidance on transgender pupils from a controversial LGBT activist group.
The new guidance is an update to ‘Supporting Transgender Young People’. It was first drawn up by LGBT Youth Scotland in 2017, but was challenged by The Christian Institute for being “incorrect”, “misleading and misguided”.
The Scottish Government had originally endorsed the guidance, with its logo appearing on the front cover, but backtracked after the Institute’s warnings.
The original guidance encouraged teachers to affirm a child who wishes to ‘change gender’, not to inform parents if their child began identifying as transgender, and advised them to inform local authorities of parents who ‘struggle’ with their child’s transgender identity.
Despite the serious concerns, The Sunday Times revealed the Scottish Government appears set to endorse the new guidance, which has been described as a road map which lays out “a sequence of events that a school can undertake to support a trans pupil”.
In a leaked transcript from an event run by LGBT Youth Scotland, Education Capacity Building Officer Caitlin Wood said: “I think I can say this, so I’m going to say it now. But that particular guide is soon to be Scottish Government guidance, which is really exciting.
soon to be Scottish Government guidance
The transcript, produced by For Women Scotland continues: “So it’s going to be non statutory guidance for schools on supporting trans pupils, and hoping that will be released by the end of the year. So that should also provide schools with some really clear and explicit information about what’s expected from the Scottish Government. And that’s based off the current guidance that we have on our website.”
The Institute’s Simon Calvert warned: “The Scottish government has got this wrong before. They are going to have to be very careful not to get it wrong again.
“Parents have rights. Teachers have rights. And non-trans pupils have rights. All these rights have to be balanced.”
Earlier this month, a father in Aberdeenshire revealed how his son was encouraged to question his gender in school when he began experiencing mental health issues as a teenager. Three years on however, the teen has no interest in ‘changing sex’.
The father said: “Our story is a very well trodden path of teenage angst and rebellion. The difference was this angst and rebellion was supported and encouraged by staff at his school, who told him he may have ‘been born in the wrong body’ and that we, his parents, don’t need to know about such discussions.”
It comes amid pleas for Holyrood to “grow up”, following the resignation of Green MSP Andy Wightman after he was threatened with possible expulsion from his own party over his stance on transgender issues.
He was reprimanded last year when he attended a public meeting on how proposed changes to gender recognition law might affect women’s rights. More recently he was warned against voting in favour of an amendment to the Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) Bill, which ensured rape victims can choose the biological sex, rather than chosen gender, of a medical examiner.
While Wightman voted along the party line against his conscience, he resigned shortly after, saying that “some of the language, approaches and postures of the party and its spokespeople have been provocative, alienating and confrontational for many women and men”.
Scottish Greens: “provocative, alienating and confrontational”
He added: “It has become evident to me that the sort of open-minded public engagement I would like to see take place on this topic is incompatible with a party that has become very censorious of any deviation from an agreed line.”
Alex Massie, a columnist for The Times, commented: “Those who assert Wightman is ‘transphobic’, because he attended a meeting at which issues of pressing public importance were discussed, are the true hysterics here.
Disagreement is not proof of bigotry
“Identity politics have long been a feature of Scottish public life but some of the protagonists in the trans-wars display a revolutionary zeal that, like all such certainties, is briskly intolerant of nuance or perspective. You are all-in or all-out and there is nothing between these poles. This is fine for student-union posturing but grown-up politics is supposed to be marginally better than that. Even at Holyrood.”
He added: “Disagreement is not proof of bigotry no matter how often the so-called progressive left claims it must be. I say so-called because I see nothing especially progressive about the indifference to women’s concerns now evident in some self-styled progressive circles.”
Massie concluded: “If Scottish politics were really as liberal as it likes to think it is, discussion of these matters would be encouraged. Instead it is too often considered dangerous and out of order.”