Friday, November 27, 2020
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Blame Europe for this trans madness

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JUST when it looked as if we might be getting somewhere on the trans craziness, another quango pops up to remind us how deep the ideology runs.

The Mail on Sunday reports that Sport England has offered up to £25,000 to consultants to consider the competition rules for elite-level sport to take account of transgender issues. The outcome of this ‘consideration’ appears to be pre-determined since ‘the project is being overseen by an LGBT activist who has promoted claims that women raising concerns about trans policies are “hate groups”.’ 

What a dire level this debate has reached. Here we are, the most technologically advanced civilisation in history, busy implementing policies based on a denial of basic biology to the detriment of women and girls. Those who object and try to restore some elementary science and common sense to the discussion are branded ‘hate groups’ by those in charge, while the cowardly politicians shuffle their feet and keep their heads down. 

How did it come to this? Victoria Hewson on Conservative Home has written a very useful summary. 

It began, as so often, with unaccountable European judges. In 1996 the European Court of Justice, in the case of P v S and Cornwall County Council, conjured out of thin air a right to non-discrimination on the grounds of ‘gender reassignment’, attaching it to sex discrimination. In his influential advice to the court, the EU Advocate General declared for the first time that acceptance of transgender identities was a ‘universal fundamental value’ as it was simply a matter of sex discrimination:

‘I am well aware that I am asking the Court to make a “courageous” decision [but] what is at stake is a universal fundamental value, indelibly etched in modern legal traditions and in the constitutions of the more advanced countries: the irrelevance of a person’s sex with regard to the rules regulating relations in society.’

Six years later, in the 2002 case of Goodwin v UK, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) stuck its oar in and discovered, in the ‘right to a private life’ in Article 8, a right of transsexuals (as they were then known) to full legal recognition of their new gender. A funny kind of ‘private’, you might think, that requires everyone to treat someone differently in public, but there you go. The court acknowledged that the decision contradicted its own recent case law, but decided it should proceed anyway and take a ‘dynamic and evolutive approach’ (music to any progressive’s ears). 

Despite the judgment making repeated use of unscientific, ideological terms like ‘brain sex’, and absurdly declaring there to be ‘no significant factors of public interest to weigh against the interests of [Christine Goodwin] in obtaining legal recognition of her gender reassignment’, the UK was obliged to legislate to comply with the ruling. Thus the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA) was born, enabling transgender people to obtain a certificate granting them legal entitlement to be treated as the opposite sex for almost all legal purposes.

In 2015 the Council of Europe (which oversees the ECHR, and from which we sadly have not [yet] Brexited) doubled down on its trans activism and passed Resolution 2048, which calls on all member states to enshrine gender identity in national law. 

The Government urgently need to get a grip on this transgender madness and make clear to Sport England and anyone else that the rights of women (actual women that is) will not be watered down by extending them to the gender-confused. Free speech protections should be reinforced by fresh legislation, and clarification should be made in all relevant contexts that sex in British law always refers to biological sex and not anything subjective.

Also, the government should take this whole episode as a salutary reminder of the perils of unaccountable supranational courts, and place under review its approach to human rights and the UK’s membership of the Council of Europe. The task of Brexit is certainly begun, but there is much still to do to untangle the UK from the grip of meddling European institutions.

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Will Jones
Dr Will Jones is a maths graduate with a PhD in political philosophy and author of Evangelical Social Theology: Past and Present (Grove, 2017).He blogs at https://faith-and-politics.com/

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