Now teachers “can be brought to justice” under new gender laws
Now teachers ‘can be brought to justice’ under new gender laws if they tell children they can’t use opposite sex toilets, activists warn
- New laws considered to ban “conversion therapy” where homosexuals are forced to be heterosexual
- Activists say laws could be used to criminalize those who interrogate children who want to change their gender
- An “easy read” guide was released earlier this week listing teachers as the type of people who practice “talk therapy”
- He said talking about conversion therapy might include people trying to change ‘the kind you want to be’
Teachers could end up in court if they tell children they can’t use an opposing toilet or prevent a boy from participating in women’s sports, activists warned last night.
New laws are being considered to ban the cruel process of “conversion therapy”, under which homosexuals are forced to be heterosexual.
But activists say they could also be used to criminalize those who interrogate children who want to change their gender.
Teachers could end up in court if they tell children they can’t use an opposing toilet or prevent a boy from participating in girls’ sports, activists warned last night (stock image)
It is the first time it emerged that teachers could be covered by the new rules. The Sex Matters group said that meant that a teacher explaining how gender identity is different from sex – and how ‘wanting to change gender’ is not the same as being of the opposite sex – could be. charged with “conversion therapy”.
Campaigners have said this means that if a school declares that a child is not allowed to use an opposite-sex toilet or changing room, they could be charged with undertaking conversion therapy. The law could also cover teachers not allowing a male child to participate in girls’ sports, or teachers refusing to change a child’s pronouns and keep their gender a secret, they fear.
It comes after critics of the conversion therapy (ban) bill warned that parents and doctors also risk criminalization if they interrogate children who wish to change their gender.
Ministers released an online consultation paper on the new law, which did not reveal teachers to be within its scope.
But an “easy read” guide was released earlier this week listing teachers as the type of people who practice “talk therapy.” He said conversion talk therapy could include people trying to change “the kind you want to be.”
Controversially, he also describes sexual orientation as meaning ‘what gender you are drawn to’ – rather than sex. The guide has since been removed from the site.
Maya Forstater, Co-Founder of Sex Matters, said, “The ‘easy read’ guide shows just how poorly designed this legislation is. Once the proposals are spelled out in plain language, it becomes too easy to see. what a bad idea they are. ‘
Maya Forstater (photo), co-founder of Sex Matters, said: “The ‘easy read’ guide shows how poorly designed this legislation is.”
Tory backbench MPs lined up yesterday to warn Boris Johnson to drop the proposals. Tim Loughton, a former minister for children, said: “This legislation risks trampling on the vulnerabilities of children, many of whom engage in drug treatments that change their lives and can also make them infertile.” Damian Green, the former first secretary of state, added: “The government needs to extend the consultation period and commit to a pre-legislative review so that it can be properly reflected, rather than just following the line. Stonewall.”
Last night, Sex Matters wrote to Equality Minister Mike Freer demanding that the consultation period on plans to criminalize conversion therapy be extended.
“The proposal lacks clarity,” the letter said. “It is not clear what behavior could see a parent, teacher, therapist, youth worker or charitable volunteer being the subject of a criminal investigation and threatened with imprisonment or a fine, and ‘a criminal record.”
A spokesperson for the Government’s Equality Hub said: “This government is committed to banning the practice of any coercive conversion therapy …”
He said the easy-to-read consultation did not accurately reflect the government’s proposals, so it was removed from the website.
Tim Loughton (pictured), a former minister for children, said: ‘This legislation risks trampling on the vulnerabilities of children, many of whom engage in drug treatments that change their lives and can also render them infertile.