Parental rights and child safety are among the bedrocks of strong, intact families. It’s no surprise that the purveyors of the new sexual revolution want to tear them down.
On June 1, 2017, the Ontario government passed Bill 89, which, among other things, gives authorities the right to remove children from homes that do not allow them to express their own chosen “gender identity”. Also known as the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act of 2017, the bill was approved by an astounding 63 to 23 majority (The Christian Post).
According to Irwin Elman, Ontario’s Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, the law, which replaces the Child and Family Services Act of 1990, “represents a paradigm shift for the province with its commitment to the participation of children and youth in every decision that affects them.”
While Elman’s statement may seem acceptable on the surface, one must look a bit deeper to understand the exact implications. Specifically, Bill 89 replaces the provision in the original law giving parents and caregivers the authority “to direct the child’s education and religious upbringing” with the mandate “to direct the child or young person’s education and upbringing, in accordance with the child’s or young person’s creed, community identity and cultural identity.” This statement not only excludes any mention of religion, but seems to give the child the ultimate authority in his or her own care.
Furthermore, the supporters of this bill more than imply that to defy a child’s will is a form of abuse. In fact, Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau states, “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.”
This single line in the law greatly alters the previous act which took into consideration the parents’ or caregivers’ religious and ethical views. And that is exactly what has some of Canada’s leading pro-family advocates concerned.
“Make no mistake, Bill 89 is a grave threat to Christians and all people of faith who have children, or who hope to grow their family through adoption,” said Jack Fonseca, senior political strategist for Campaign Life Coalition.
“This is a direct hit against parental authority,” warned Tanya Granic Allen, executive director of Parents as First Educators (PAFE).
This may seem like a huge transition for Canadian government, but but isn’t the first time the government has attempted to intervene intrusively in family situations over controversial values. Earlier this year, child protective services removed two young children from a Christian foster home who revealed the truth about the Easter Bunny. “We have a no-lying policy,” stated the foster father when ordered to comply.
Most who oppose the bill recognize the need for several of the addendums to the law, such as changing the age of children to be protected from 16 to 18 to provide more services — such as help preventing dire situations like human trafficking. They are, however, strongly opposed to the implications that a child may be removed from a home where the parents or guardians refuse to acknowledge a child’s preferred “gender identity”.
Whether or not the bill can be changed is yet to be seen. Several critics are fighting to revise or defeat it entirely, giving parents back the right to raise their children with the moral views in which they see fit. There is currently a petition circulating to repeal the act.