ONTARIO — Concerns are mounting over a recently passed bill in Canada that has been interpreted as empowering the government to seize children from homes where their parents or caregivers “abusively” refuse to allow the child to “transition” into the opposite sex.
Ontario’s Bill 89, also known as “The Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act of 2017,” instructs the government that when the “best interests” of a child are to be taken into consideration, “the child’s race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” are to be among the factors given thought.
“I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying, ‘No, you need to do this differently,'” Minister of Child and Family Services Michael Coteau, who introduced the bill, told QP Briefing in February. “If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”
After the bill passed last week 63-23, he repeated his sentiments, noting that he is not saying children can be removed from the home simply because of parental disagreement, but only when the matter rises to the point of being considered abuse.
“[Y]ou can’t remove a kid because the parent disagrees with the fact that a child is gay. What you can do is remove a child if that child is being abused because of that,” Coteau told the outlet. “Abuse is abuse.”
“It’s the same way I would not allow a black child to be abused because they were black, or a Catholic child to be abused because they’re Catholic,” he stated.
The bill has therefore raised concern among pro-family groups who are expressing worriment over how the new law might be interpreted, and what might be considered abuse by the government.
“With this law, parents are being coerced to help their children embrace their sexual confusion, instead of helping them to accept who they really are, as evidenced by their bodily reality,” Jack Fonseca, senior political strategist for the Campaign Life Coalition, told reporters.
Dr. Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, likewise opined that he doesn’t believe that going along with one’s gender confusion is in the best interest of children.
“I don’t think that children’s best interests are being put forward by policies such as this. It’s a mistake, and we’re going to pay for it in a big way,” he said in April. “You’re not helping kids by radically confusing them about the identities that they might adopt. Not in my estimation. I don’t think that’s freedom. I think it’s confusion.”
Fonseca expressed frustration over the lack of outrage from people of faith.
“The lack of spiritual leadership is killing us. Every single time that liberals, either federally or provincially, roll out the LGBT juggernaut to take away our rights, or to demonize us as bigots, we hear nothing but silence from the Church,” he lamented. “This has to stop.”