Government must 'stand firm' on school transgender guidance

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Christians are being asked to pray that Rishi Sunak will not be swayed by pro-trans activists as new transgender guidance for schools continues to be hit by delays.

The guidance was due out before the end of July but its publication has been overshadowed by a rift over whether legislation is needed to ban the social transitioning of children in schools. 

Social transitioning refers to trans-identified children requesting to be referred to by new names and pronouns.

Attorney General Victoria Prentis has advised the Department for Education (DfE) that a ban might constitute unlawful indirect discrimination on grounds of gender reassignment.

It was reported in The Telegraph on Wednesday that the Prime Minister is re-considering plans to introduce legislation banning the social transition of children.

A Whitehall source told the newspaper: "The chances are it won't be in the King's Speech."

The Prime Minister's spokesperson told the Guardian a day later that Sunak remains committed to the plan and that the government is proceeding with "extreme caution" on the issue while taking additional time to hear from experts. 

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch and Christian MPs Miriam Cates, Nick Fletcher and Danny Kruger have all dismissed claims that legislation is needed to ban children from social transitioning. 

Writing in The Critic, Cates told the government to "get on with it".

"The very fact that there is uncertainty about whether it is lawful for schools to uphold the reality of biological sex indicates how complex — and ripe for reform — the tangled web of UK equalities and human rights legislation has become," she said. 

"But it also demonstrates how unfair it is for schools to bear the responsibility for interpreting the law in such a contested area. The buck must stop with the DfE.

"And while government lawyers argue in private about the likelihood of guidance facing legal challenge, children are being harmed. It is surely the DfE's duty to publish clear guidance without any further delay, and if this is followed by a Judicial Review then so be it."

The Christian Institute has echoed the call to press on. Director Colin Hart said that clear guidance was needed to protect the rights of Christians to express their deeply-held convictions. He is asking Christians to pray that such guidance will be brought in soon. 

He said: "There is nothing in the law that requires schools to affirm children in their gender confusion. In fact, this risks causing long-term harm.

"Trans activists want to use the long-awaited transgender guidance to compel pupils and teachers to adopt radical gender ideology, including social transitioning. The Government has to stand firm."