Parents may even be prosecuted pre-emptively, before any refusal about their child changing gender takes place.
Parents that don’t permit their children to change their gender could be jailed for up to seven years under radical new plans from the SNP to ban “conversion therapy”.
Tuesday’s proposals reveal that under the pro-independence party’s plans any actions designed to “change or suppress” the gender identity of another individual, or that causes another individual physical harm or psychological distress would be illegal.
SNP ministers claimed that alleged conversion often took place in a “family setting”, indicating that parents could be prosecuted if they refuse to accept that their child is transgender.
As an example of something that would be made illegal under the new rules, a child could not be prevented from “dressing in a way that reflects their sexual orientation or gender identity” without the parent stopping them falling foul of the law. This is irrespective of whether the parent believed they were acting in the best interests of the child.
What’s more, according to The Telegraph, as well as a new criminal framework, a consultation states preemptive civil orders could be obtained against parents and religious leaders, even when the offending conversion practices had not yet taken place.
This isn’t the first time the Scottish Nationalists have caused controversy around gender issues. In 2023, disgraced former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s plans to allow children as young as 16 to change gender and others to be able to self-identify as a different gender. The move was blocked by Westminster.
Some groups have hit out at the new proposals. Marion Calder, director at the campaign group For Women Scotland, said: “We have grave concerns that these plans will criminalise loving parents, who could face years in jail simply for refusing to sign up to the gender ideology cult.
“They will also hand activists and social workers unprecedented powers to meddle in family life, while having a chilling impact on therapists and counsellors.”
She hadded that if the SNP and Green alliance in Holyrood “insist” on pushing this legislation through, then it could end up “going the same way” as the hated self-ID and named person laws which were ultimately blocked in the courts.
Emma Roddick branded alleged ‘conversion therapy’ as ‘destructive’
But pro-independence lawmakers in Holyrood are adamant that the new plans are necessary to stop “destructive” conversion practices. SNP equalities minister, Emma Roddick, said any attempts to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity were “damaging and destructive” violations of that person’s human rights.
She went on: “The consultation responses we receive will help us to further consider those measures we can take to stop the harm of conversion practices and protect those at risk while ensuring that freedoms – including freedoms of speech, religion, and belief – are safeguarded.”
Equality spokesman for the Scottish Greens, Maggie Chapman, also backed the planned law. The plan was agreed to by the SNP as part of its coalition pact with the environmentalist party.
But pro-independence lawmakers in Holyrood are adamant that the new plans are necessary to stop “destructive” conversion practices.