There is one exceptional case in British Columbia where a father known as CD was arrested after continuing to refer to his 14-year-old biological daughter (known as AB) as “she” and his “daughter” after moving to a male Gender. The British Columbia, Canada Supreme Court ordered the child to receive testosterone injections without parental consent. CD refused to transition as a parent but was overruled after doctors at BC Children’s Hospital ruling that the girl should be given testosterone injections. The father continued to defy gag orders, including a bar where he tried to convince his own child to wait before making such a change.
We previously discussed how such pronoun disputes (called “misgendering”) lead to criminal investigations in other countries such as the UK.
The Canadian courts have withheld the father’s name, but he has since gone public in an interview and has a GoFundMe site under his real name.
Previously, in a 2019 ruling, Judge Gregory Bowden had dismissed the parents’ view as largely irrelevant:
Given the current law on a Mature Minor’s Right to Consent to Medical Treatment and a number of doctors’ assessment that AB has the capacity to consent, as well as evidence from its health care providers that the proposed treatment is in AB’s best interests, there is no serious one Question to try.
The second phase of the RJR test examines whether the litigant applying for the injunction would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted. AB’s father has not shown that a refusal to grant the injunction would adversely affect or cause irreparable harm.
Following this decision, a gag order was issued preventing the father from convincing his son to change his mind:
“ AB, a 14 year old transgender boy, is applying for a protection order to prevent his father, CD, from posting, speaking, or giving interviews on this case or AB’s personal and medical information.
“A) Keep the CD away from: i. Trying to convince AB to discontinue treatment for gender dysphoria; ii. Addressing AB with his maiden name; and iii. refer to AB as a girl or with feminine pronouns, whether directly to AB or to third parties;
“B) CD may not publish or distribute, directly or indirectly through any agent or third party, information or records relating to AB’s gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical health, medical status, or therapies.”
On the evening of the Bowden’s decision, CD spoke to the federalist and said, “Because she’s a girl. All of these experiments will not change your DNA. ” He added:
“I had a perfectly healthy child a year ago, and that perfectly healthy child was changed and destroyed for no good reason. She can never be a girl again in the sane body she should have had. She will have a lower voice forever. She will have to shave forever because of facial hair. She won’t be able to have children … Sometimes I just want to scream so that other parents and people … jump in, understand what’s going on. There is a child – and not just mine, but in my case my child out there who ruined their life. “
This led to the father being convicted of “domestic violence” in April 2019. In addition, Judge Francesca Marzari even issued an order authorizing Clark’s “no warrant” arrest by a police officer who could potentially catch him calling his daughter “a girl or a girl” using feminine pronouns. “
YouTube interviews with the father were later removed. In one of those interviews, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen even ordered Laura-Lynn Thompson to conduct her interview and when she failed to do so he sent the police to her home.
The decisions reject any material weight given to the rights of the parents. I have long spoken out against an absolutist position against parental rights in areas such as abortion with minors. The application of criminal penalties against this father only adds to these concerns.
Personally, I disagree with the father in the use of the pronoun if his son made this choice. I would indulge in the child’s preference for how the child is referenced (as opposed to decisions about medical treatments or procedures for young children). The question, however, is whether the state should play such a compelling and intrusive role in a family. If a parent is instructed not to speak to their child about the problem, or if they are arrested for relating to the child’s biological sex, I believe that very serious parenting rights and freedom of speech arise. I understand that many experts believe that it is abusive and harmful to oppose such a sex change. I do not value this view. However, this is a position left to persuasive rather than compelling means. We can discuss this question and many can oppose the use of such pronouns as abusive. However, arresting a parent for continuing to oppose such a transition or referring to the wrong pronoun is terrifying. In making these decisions, the conflicting interests and rights of the parents are completely disregarded.