The End of Parental Rights? A Chilling Case From Canada

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
March 4, 2019

The overload of media in the modern age has made it difficult to distinguish between the significant and the merely sensational. Sometimes, especially in this morally confused age, a story turns out to be both significant and sensational. That happened in Canada this past week—a story that bears enormous moral consequences and is utterly scandalous in its content.

Jeremiah Keenan, reporter for the Federalist, documented a decision last Wednesday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The court ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, the parents could be charged with family violence.

Evidently, the girl’s school counselor encouraged her to identify as a boy as early as the seventh grade. When Maxine—the name used in the Federalist article—turned 13, her doctor and his colleagues at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital decided that she, “Should begin taking testosterone injections in order to develop a more masculine appearance.” Keenan reported that while the mother accepted the idea of hormone injections, the girl’s father was “concerned about the permanent ramifications of cross-sex hormones.” Further: “Suspecting that his daughter’s mental health issues might be more of the cause than the effect of her gender dysphoria. He ultimately decided that it would be better for her to wait until she was older before she embarked on any irreversible course of treatment.”

Despite the father’s concerns and rights as a parent, the doctor informed the parents that hormone treatments would commence simply based on the expressed consent of the child and the agreement of doctors. The lead doctor claimed that he had the right to usurp parental control due to prevailing law in British Columbia known as the Infants’ Act. When the father sought an injunction from the court in British Columbia, a judge deemed that the daughter was empowered with “consent to medical treatment for gender dysphoria.” The father responded to the court’s decision, stating, “The government has taken over my parental rights. They’re using [his daughter] like she’s a guinea pig in an experiment.”

The father continued in his outrage, asking, “Is the British Columbia Children’s Hospital going to be there in 5 years when she rejects her male identity? No, they’re not. They don’t care. They want numbers.” Keenan aptly reported that the majority of children diagnosed by sex change clinics with gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder have actually returned to identify with their gender assigned at birth.

The sexual revolutionaries are scandalously dishonest about the consequences or implications of their worldview. Indeed, the father reflected on transgender clinics in England that, due to enormous activist pressure, fast track children into transition treatments. The father commented, “These activists are taking over and it’s not in the interest of our kids. It’s in the interest of self-promotion and the things that they want to do and accomplish.”

Indeed, the sexual revolution aims to normalize its entire transgender ideology. The LGBTQ revolutionaries have chipped away at the moral foundation of society—by opening the door to adult gender dysphoria, it would only be a matter of time before they extended their logic to young children who should have access to hormonal treatments and gender reversal medical procedures. No matter how hard they try, however, the sexual revolutionaries have no way to normalize what they propose for children. There is no way to look at this story without serious moral concern and outrage; an outrage not only directed at the indoctrination of young minds but the disavowal of parental rights.

This story out of Canada reveals the deeply subversive developments of the sexual revolutionaries and their agenda—they now target the rights of parents; they disrupt the life of the home and subvert familial bonds. The court’s decision in British Columbia opened the door to the nullification of all parental rights—the child, no matter the age, is increasingly considered to be autonomous. Children and teenagers, guided and advised and even pushed by activists and medical authorities, can decide what to do with their bodies. Not only that, if the parents dare to refer to their transgender child by their actual sex, the parents can be charged with violating the family violence laws.

This is not a twisted fantasy novel. It is a real case, with real people, with a real judge, and with massively real consequences.

A moral reorientation of society occurs when the revolutionaries enact the logical and consistent implications of their worldview. For the sexual revolution, it began with claims that, for adults, gender is merely a social construct and gender identity is up to the individual. But if that logic applies to adults, it will inevitable apply to adolescents and children as well. The fluidity of gender and its deconstruction as a fixed, moral norm must extend to every person at every age. Every individual, even little children, must possess legally protected autonomy to decide their gender identity, declare it, and seek hormonal treatments and more.

When that logic infects a society, moral absolutes disappear. In Canada, the sexual revolution has sacrificed parental rights on the altar of a perverse moral ideology.

The Supreme Court in British Columbia has handed down a terrible decision—it not only nullified parental rights over their children but made it criminal for parents even to refer to their child as the gender assigned at birth. The judge ruled, “Attempting to persuade [their daughter] to abandon treatment for gender dysphoria, addressing [their daughter] by his birth name, or with female pronouns, whether to him directly or to third parties shall be considered to be family violence under Section 38 of the Family Law Act.”

Like a destructive tidal wave, the moral revolution crushes the norms and moral structures that have guided human civilization for thousands of years. In this secular moment, parents no longer serve as the responsible authorities for the nurturing of their children but obstacles that must be removed.

Indeed, the sexual revolution continuously seeks to undermine parental authority as evidenced by another case in Alberta. Jill Croteau for Global News reported a story with the headline, “Gay-straight alliance law challenged at Alberta Court of Appeal.” Croteau writes, “A court of Appeal heard both sides on the impacts of Gay-straight alliances in schools. While one side argues they limit a parent’s right to know, the other says it protects children whose parents may not accept their sexual identity.”

The substance of this issue centers around schools which refer students to Gay-straight alliances, or clubs, without divulging that information to parents. Indeed, some schools will place students with an openly gay or LGBTQ counselor without every notifying the parents. These students will receive encouragement to accept a gay identity—conversations that go on while parents remain oblivious and intentionally left in the dark.

A moral meltdown has erupted. The forces of secularism and the moral revolutionaries have pressed an agenda with a ruinous fallout. The logic is clear: Parents must be severed from their children if the parents refuse to get on board.

The sexual revolution must push and invade. If it asserts the full autonomy of the individual, then it must extend that right to young children. If the moral revolutionaries fail in this endeavor, or agree that children should remain under the care of their parents, then they undermine the entire worldview and sexual agenda of the movement. If personal autonomy is absolute, then it absolutely must apply to every person at every stage of life.

Furthermore, the sexual revolution chooses its skirmishes in the battlefields of the courts—and they are winning those contests. Lawsuits and cases, timed just right, and placed in front of the right set of judges, will procure a ruling that will favor the sexual revolution. Rather than public discourse and debate over these enormous issues, the sexual revolution seeks judicial mandate. Through jurisprudence, the sexual revolutionaries build precedence. When one case goes their way, it lays a foundation for further cases that will extend their ideology. It has been an effective strategy, even in the United States with cases like Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges.

This is how a moral change takes place within a society—not only aided and abetted by the courts but driven by the courts. The headlines that demand our attention often include the names of one judge or another; one justice or one court after another. That is no accident. That is the strategy to transform the culture—and, as court decision after court decision indicates, the revolutionaries are winning.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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