Pride Mardi Gla in Glasgow, Scotland (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Artillery Row

Scotland is behind the curve on Stonewall

It’s time for a rethink on LGBT issues

Scotland’s Government has powered up the warp drive on LGBTQI+ values, aiming to boldly go where no nation has gone before on Starship Stonewall.

The decision to rush ahead on several novel policies could indeed soon deliver the Scottish people a whole new world, but it will hardly be the futuristic utopia the activists seem to think. Instead, Scotland’s political class thinks it best to entrench the nation in a dystopian nightmare based on a dangerous ideology that others are ditching in their droves.

A month ago, Holyrood delivered a sparkling new victory to Stonewall and its allies, voting 88 to 33 for gender “self-ID”. Among other mistakes, the legislation plans to lower the age for a person legally changing their gender to just 16. Doctors do not have to sign off, and there is only a six-month buffer to ensure you aren’t making a mistake (reduced to three months for over-18s).

Scotland’s teenagers are not immune to the regret faced by detransitioners

Enabling children to change their legal sex having thought of the idea just months earlier shows abject disregard for ordinary safeguarding. It is make-believe to think that this sort of policy will deliver anything other than pain and anguish for hundreds if not thousands of vulnerable young people.

It doesn’t take long to find plenty of examples of young adults who wish they had never been encouraged to live as a member of the opposite sex. Scotland’s teenagers are not immune to the regret faced by these “detransitioners”, however much the political class tries to pretend they don’t exist. Self-ID for 16-year-olds bakes in the very feelings that might ordinarily subside, leading to increased medicalisation and surgery for those whose gender struggles are actually driven by other causes.

Stonewall’s gender gibberish is already being promoted across school curriculums in Scotland at the Government’s behest, often without parents’ knowledge. The Scottish Government is still pointing schools in the direction of beleaguered trans activist group Mermaids. Under the new law, they could be helping children fill in forms after school, and certificates from the Government will turn up on parents’ doorsteps saying their child is not who they always thought.

It’s far from the only fantastical policy to come straight out of the Stonewall playbook. Plans for a ban on “conversion therapy” are equally mind-boggling. Like many of Stonewall’s proposals, it is painted as “kind”. Who could ever support cruel attempts to change a person’s identity? Read between the lines and the motivations become clear: activists have linked “conversion therapy” with the parental right to be informed about their child’s gender presentation at school. They have said it includes harmless religious activities including praying alone. They have even said “casual conversations” should be outlawed if you say the “wrong” thing to a gay or trans person.

Parents are now in a desperate situation, fearing criminalisation

It appears little more than an attempt to stamp out disagreement by branding every opponent as “harmful”.

Scotland says it wants to be a world leader on these issues. That is why so many have lobbied Scotland to copy and expand the extraordinary legislation of the State of Victoria in Australia, which Stonewall and co. say is the “gold-standard”. In Victoria the law on conversion therapy has made it illegal to “not affirm someone’s gender identity” — so says the body responsible for upholding it. It is so sweeping that it even catches parents who refuse to support their children receiving drugs to suppress puberty.

Unsurprisingly, parents there are now in a desperate situation, fearing criminalisation for seeking help for known mental health needs of children who say they are another sex. The Scottish Government’s own “expert” panel (which contains only activists, by the way) advocates for the Victoria model, whilst also recommending the removal of parental rights and the defrocking of religious leaders.

Stonewall has been backing these policies throughout. It has long called for easier transgender self-ID and is squarely behind the “Ban Conversion Therapy” coalition. Fronting that coalition is Jayne Ozanne, who gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament. She infamously coined the phrase “gentle non-coercive prayer” as a definition of what the ban should cover. The chapter “End Conversion Therapy Scotland” has most recently been attacking Sir Keir Starmer for suggesting parents should be informed about their own child’s gender transition.

Elsewhere, the Cass Review into transgender healthcare in the NHS has forced a rethink on how such children should be treated by staff. The Tavistock gender clinic for children in London will soon close, which may help end the ideological stranglehold of Stonewall and Mermaids over children’s lives. Yet Glasgow’s Sandyford clinic continues to experiment on children. Holyrood seems adamant that Sandyford is here to stay — and self-ID for 16-year-olds is set to reinforce its unscientific interventions.

Throughout the UK, major organisations have pulled out of Stonewall’s schemes. Encouraging companies to exchange words like “mother” for “birthing parent” was the last straw for the public’s wearied patience. Whilst Stonewall’s reign over “inclusion” and “diversity” has taken a hit elsewhere, the Scottish Government feels its policies should be forced on the whole nation.

If Scottish politicians think it is progressive and forward-thinking to promote these laws, it is time to wake up. Trampling on hard-won human rights and removing freedoms is not a step in the right direction. The truth is that Scotland is way behind the curve. These laws are dangerous and repressive, fit only for the dustbin of history.

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