Gender Identity And The Rights Of The Child

On February 24th the Gender Identity (Protected Characteristic) Bill 2016-17 is expected to have its second reading debate in the House of Commons. The purpose of the Bill is “to make gender identity a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 in place of gender reassignment and to make associated provision for transgender and other persons; and for connected purposes.”

To enshrine gender identity in law would give any man legal status as a woman (or vice versa) based only on personal feelings, effectively establishing “gender identity” as the only legal distinction between men and women. “Gender identity” by definition, excludes and denies the existence of biological sex. The protected characteristic “sex” would therefore be replaced by “gender identity.”

This protected characteristic would also apply to children and adolescents whose identities are still immature, developing and highly susceptible to influence from adults.  Its legal establishment would have serious implications for both parents and children as well as the safety of women and girls.

  • Sex-segregated facilities designed for the protection of women and girls would become segregated by gender identity. Everyone, including children, would be legally bound to believe the gender identity of anyone else, child or adult. A young girl who finds herself in a public changing-room with a naked adult male would be legally forced to call him a woman if he identifies as such. She would no longer have any recourse to legal protection from any man entering her private spaces, the law would demand that she protect his “identity”
  • Allowing boys and adult males into organisations for only girls would be legally enforced, as would the advertisement of these organisations as “for girls only” as Girlguiding UK already does. The deception of girls would become a legal requirement
  • Legally, any child expressing a cross-sex identity would only be affirmed by professionals as the sex they identify as – activists have pressured professional bodies to fall into line in describing any other approach as “conversion therapy” and this political stance would be legally enshrined. Children would be denied normal duty of care standards in all counselling and therapy
  • The incoherent ideology promoted by all transgender organisations such as Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence would be legally validated as truth
  • More parents will believe they must take their child’s identity as proof of their sex, fewer parents will have the confidence to trust in their own judgments if the law protects their child’s immature identity as a fixed and unchanging reality
  • In contravention of the advice of the Endocrine Society; more young children will be socially transitioned, more will progress to puberty blockers followed by cross-sex hormones, more will be sterilised. There will consequently be fewer gay and lesbian adults and more trans people on a lifetime of medication. The growing community of young adults who realise their transition was a mistake will inevitably increase further
  • Parents in custody disputes may be penalised if they do not affirm a child’s “gender identity”; the law may favour the parent who honours the protected characteristic
  •  All teachers and professionals working with children and adolescents would be legally bound to affirm and validate a child’s “gender identity,” withhold any other model of understanding gender, and deny children any other means of understanding their feelings
  • Teaching “gender identity” to children in schools would become sanctioned as part of the Equality and Human Rights PSHE curriculum and its integration into the teaching of biology must logically follow
  • Freedom of speech would be denied to all on the subject of male and female biology, as “gender identity” depends on its erasure. Girls would not be allowed to express discomfort if a male classmate used their toilet or changing-room, or name him as male. Talking about female biological functions such as menstruation would be outlawed as hate speech; girls will be denied the language to talk about their bodies
  • Sex-role stereotypes would be enshrined in law and children would be trained to believe that cultural ideas of “appropriate” behaviour and interests is what defines them as either boys or girls, and not biological sex

All of the above is already happening. There is still room, however, for potentially challenging a school policy for example, on the grounds of rights under the protected characteristic “sex” which institutions still have an obligation to consider. This right to challenge will be taken away if the protected characteristic is changed to “gender identity” because in the eyes of the law, if established, gender identity is sex.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

How far would the gender identity protected characteristic be in contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? We would question it in regard to the following Articles:

Article 3 (best interests of the child)

The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.

Is it in the best interests of the child to: teach them a belief in place of facts; affirm them in an identity which will leave them sterilised and medicalised for life; force girls to share spaces with males and take away their right to recognise or name them as males; take away all children’s right to name biological reality?

Article 13 (freedom of expression)

Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.

Protection of “gender identity” ensures the denial of access to any other kind of information for children and forces schools and organisations to teach them exclusively an idea with no basis in science as “truth.” Children would be denied the freedom to express thoughts and opinions which contradict gender identity ideology, such as pointing out that someone is male or defining a girl as a member of the female sex. Teachers and youth leaders would be obliged to silence such “opinions”

Article 17 (access to information from the media)

Every child has the right to reliable information from a variety of sources, and governments should encourage the media to provide information that children can understand. Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.

No variety of sources is permitted if “gender identity” becomes legally protected; any challenge to this orthodoxy would be outlawed. “Gender identity” ideology is harmful to children as evidenced by the exponential rise in referrals to gender clinics, the doubling in the number of children contacting Childline with worries about their “gender” and the growth of the community of young adults who regret their decision to transition before they were mature enough to understand what they were really doing

Article 36 (other forms of exploitation)

Governments must protect children from all other forms of exploitation, for example the exploitation of children for political activities, by the media or for medical research.

Children are being exploited by adult activists with a political agenda to enshrine their invented “born in the wrong body” idea into law. Children who are experiencing  cross-sex confusion and adolescents expressing normal gender and sexual exploration are being used as “evidence” of an incoherent, untested and unscientific belief. Children and adolescents are unknowingly being used in an unacknowledged medical experiment in an untested area for which there exist no long-term medical research trials

Please contact your Local MP and ask them to attend the second reading of the Bill and to oppose it on these grounds. A brief email would do, but we have also compiled more documents on the impact this legislation would have on children and adolescents which you can download if you would like more detailed information:

Impact of Gender Identity Based On Self-Declaration

Impact of Teaching Gender Identity to Children

Impact on Adolescent Girls

Impact of the Loss of Single-Sex Spaces on Girls

Impact on the Rights of the Child

You can find your local MP here. Thank you!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. trish

    “Everyone, including children, would be legally bound to believe the gender identity of anyone else, child or adult. ”

    A law that demands that people not only ignore, but actually affirm, the opposite of reality is madness and nothing good can come of it.

  2. Diane Guilbault

    Very good article. It sums up every thing that is wrong with gender identity concept. However, the bill has been adopted by the Canadian MPs, in November. It is now the Senate that has the opportunity to send back the bill to the Parliament. Here the list of the senators and their email (

    There is also an online petition :

  3. Jess

    I cannot believe that this Bill can possibly be made into law, the implications are too terrifying to contemplate for future generations.

  4. Una-Jane Winfield

    Maria Miller is not up to the job of writing new laws. She is a serious danger to her own sex and children. I had hoped that she was not still trying to climb the greasy pole with her absurd proposals, but I was wrong.

    I have signed the two petitions above.

    I will write again to my MP to explain why this issue is important; why it has absolutely nothing to do with equalities legislation and everything to do with a fundamental confusion between two words (one poorly defined and the other extremely well-defined); and why the proposed change is utterly illogical, ill-founded and dangerous. I will have to go over (again) the distinction between “gender” – a word which used to have a precise grammatical meaning but is now a poorly defined concept to do with the social roles of men and women – and biological “sex” which is understood scientifically with great precision.

    MPs are paralysed with embarrassment! They don’t want to look, to read and still less to understand.
    My MP squirms with embarrassment. I have tried to talk to him face to face about this issue, but he goes off on a different subject. I am sure that no MP (even the members of Ms Miller’s Equalities’ committee) has done any independent research on Gender Dysphoria. No MP has witnessed, as I have, the anguish (labelled euphemistically “transition”) suffered by adult GD sufferers. I will have to avoid saying that they need the protection of mental health legislation – GD is a very strange condition which leaves many intellectual functions apparently untouched, but (1) exaggerates wildly a narcissistic trait and (2) reduces drastically the capacity for insight. Empathy is very reduced. This combination of emotional traits makes social life difficult and family life impossible. I will point to the recent cases (if I can remember them) where judges have had to make decisions based on an evaluation of the emotional range and stability of GD sufferers.

    AGAIN and again.. When does OUR suffering as women (discarded by a GD-suffering man in my case) END???

  5. Una-Jane Winfield

    I have been to the HoC “Gender Identity Protected Characteristic” website (
    The date for the second reading is now 24th March, not 24th February. So that gives us a bit more time to badger MPs.
    There are so many lawyers in both Houses, surely some will understand how bad legislation based on self-declared “identity” will be. They might agree with Jon Holbrook in Spiked: “Transgenderism: a top-down politics of identity” (“) and Quentin Letts views of Maria Miller in the Daily Mail – I have to try to laugh, please!

  6. Una-Jane Winfield

    I had a meeting with my MP on Monday 20th March about this bill.

    He admitted that he found the subject embarrassing. I told him that I have been told by the then-Medical Director for Mental Health Services for NW London, Dr Alice Parshall, that psychiatry was in the stone age compared to physical medicine. She had described the essential nature of transsexual men as (1) “immature” – a word with many more implications than when used by non-psychiatrists – and (2) blinkered. I said that gender dysphoria was a type of “body dysmorphia” like anorexia nervosa and another, very uncommon condition where a person believes that they would be better off without a limb. GD leaves a person addicted to hormones and sterile after extremely painful surgery. He asked about the prognosis for anorexia – it isn’t good. He understood that “gender identity” is a wooly concept and seemed to accept that “gender reassignment surgery” is a better reference point, and so a better “protected characteristic”. I added that the “bathroom wars” in the US were unlikely to abate because they pitted extreme Christian groups against the “rainbow” liberals. I said “Americans don’t do compromise”. It was a good natured exchange.

    He explained that, because this was a private members bill and in addition 24th March is just before the prorogation of Parliament, there was zero chance of the bill passing. But it would come back again and again if there was a lobbying group pressing for it. I assured him that there were several lobbying groups. I feel that I had a productive 15 minutes with no embarrassment and a certain amount of shared understanding.

  7. Stacey Charlesworth

    I have sent 3 emails now asking for my MP’ view on this but she seems too busy to respond. My MP is Dianne Abbot. I have very little fairh in her having an informed or coherent view in this, given I disagree with practically every other aspect of her politics. Looks like the bill won’t get time but neither will this issue go away. Stonewall and the Women’s Equality Party have totally gone transcult so looks like Jenni Murray and Mumsnet currently highest profile allies. Where do teachers’ unions stand on this? Anyone know?

  8. atranswidow

    Update from on the Gender Identity (Protected Characteristics) Bill 2016-17……
    “However, as a General Election has now been called and Parliament will be dissolved from 3 May 2017, the Bill falls and no further action will be taken.”
    So, for now, we are not in the situation in the UK that is happening in Canada…..
    Every word spoken by Meghan Murphy is so relevant and on point.

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