Scottish Government’s Proposed Sex Change Law Dangerous: Young At Risk 

From The Scotsman Newspaper…

Changing gender could become easier and quicker before the next election, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has said.

Transgender law reform proposed by the Scottish Government would lower the age limit for applications from 18 to 16, remove the need for medical evidence and reduce the required time spent living in the new gender from two years to six months.

Transgender law reform proposed by the Scottish Government would lower the age limit for applications from 18 to 16, remove the need for medical evidence and reduce the required time spent living in the new gender from two years to six months.

It aims to make it simpler for trans people to get a Gender Recognition Certificate to legally change their gender.

Shirley-Anne Somerville told STV’s Scotland Tonight programme the Scottish Government is “determined” to change the law before the 2021 Holyrood election, adding she wants to build “maximum consensus” for the plans.

Arguing trans and women’s rights are not “mutually exclusive”, Ms Somerville said there has been “a lot of misunderstandings” alongside legitimate concerns about the proposed legislation.

The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill would continue to require applicants to make a declaration they have lived in their intended gender for at least three months and intend it to be a permanent transition, as well as having a three-month period of reflection after applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Concerns have been raised about potential abuses of the easier process – for example, men using it to access women’s spaces – although making a false declaration to change gender would remain a criminal offence. In the interview, which will be broadcast by STV on Thursday evening, Ms Somerville said: “I absolutely appreciate that women’s rights are exceptionally important.

“They have been long-fought for and long-campaigned on and there is absolutely nothing I would do as a member of this government to jeopardise any of that.

“So that’s why I really do make sure that I listen to the concerns that are out there on the issue because we not only want to protect what we have as women but we want to make sure our rights are extended.”

Ms Somerville said she was confident the legislation could be passed before the Scottish Parliament elections next year.
The Scottish Government is currently running a consultation encouraging people and organisations to submit their views on the proposed changes by March 17.
She said: “We have women’s rights and we have trans rights – I don’t see those aspects as mutually exclusive.

“What we’re talking about here isn’t something that’s new. These people are in our community, they’re part of our community.

“But they talk to us very specifically about how the current system deeply impacts on them, about the state of their mental health and particularly the high suicide rates within the trans community because they can’t be recognised for who they are.”   Source – The Scotsman

Comment: 

Click here to read the Scottish Government’s Consultation on the proposed Gender Recognition (Scotland) Reform Bill

Then click here to read the help offered by the Christian Institute in participating in the Consultation. Note responses must be submitted by 17 March 2020 – so there is not much time.

Catholic Truth strongly urges all our readers and bloggers to take the time necessary to complete the Consultation.  This latest diversion from the Scottish Government’s record  (as reports on its management of schools and hospitals leave quite a bit to be desired) has been described as the “Named Person Mark Two” – in other words, just as the Named Person Scheme turned out to be a humiliation for the Scottish Government, so, too, will the Gender Recognition (Scotland) Reform Bill, if the population, in sufficient numbers, makes its opposition felt.  

 

Elaine Smith, MSP on Contribution of Catholic Schools in Scotland… Priceless! 

Comment: 

Present in the public gallery watching this recent discussion in the Scottish Parliament, we see Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh, Barbara Coupar, the Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES), and a group of students. 

Not one  item on Elaine Smith’s list singles out Catholic schools as being any different from any other school in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK.

Yet, (or which explains why) one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) after another, praised Catholic schools to the skies. 

The buzzwords are all there – inclusive, diversity blah blah, how Catholic schools are teaching about all religions, nothing to worry about here. Hiding in plain sight as ever, of course, the fact that the one religion not being taught in Catholic schools is Catholicism.  Nobody asked why Catholic pupils are leaving Catholic schools able to name the five pillars of Islam but unable to name the precepts of the Church.  I mean who teaches that Sunday Mass attendance is obligatory, any more? Or that sex outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is sinful?  Who teaches that any more?  Nothing to see here, move along…

One useful comment in the video comes from Baptist, John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston – scroll to 39.50, to hear him argue that there should be room in “the  public square” for the expression of faith-based values, just as humanists are allowed free rein to express their views.  

John Swinney, MSP, SNP Minister for Education, the one and same John Swinney whom we saw squirming in another video as he defended the disgraceful sex teaching materials in use in Scottish schools, also sang the praises of Catholic schools. Pause for thought, right there, folks…  He makes a point of telling us that his own son attends a Catholic (shared campus) school, no problem.  And why would there be a problem?  His son, like every other pupil in any Catholic school in Scotland, is never going to be taught that “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” – and other key dogmas. Not in a million years. Which is about as long as it is likely to take to end the current crisis in the Church and get back to teaching the Faith, entire and true, without any watering down to accommodate “society”. 

If you  haven’t yet booked your ticket for the Catholic Truth Education Seminar scheduled to take place next May, we strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible – there is, after all, plenty to discuss…

As a matter of courtesy, I’ve emailed the link to this conversation to the three MSPs named in the above commentary – Elaine Smith, MSP, John Mason, MSP and John Swinney, MSP / Minister for Education in the Scottish Government. So, remember the House Rules – no personal remarks, no politics – stick to the issue(s). 

Voting in the 2019 General Election

As we prepare to go to the polls in the General Election on 12 December, it is worth reflecting on Church teaching and the principles which should guide us in deciding how to use our vote without violating God’s law.  

Click here to read a guide prepared for American Catholics, which seems to be fairly comprehensive.  I’ve not studied everything on that [EWTN] site, but I have checked out some key topics and I think we will all find it useful, and a source for fruitful discussion.

Below, a video clip from the trial of St Thomas More,  saint and martyr, patron of lawyers and politicians, who has been an inspiration to many, including many who are not Catholics, because of his strong, conscientious insistence that God’s law must always be above any law created by man. 

Comment: 

If the voting guide given in the introduction above still leave you with unanswered questions or doubts,  feel free to ask for clarification on this thread. 

Here, at Catholic Truth, we are apolitical and we discuss politics only in the context of our Catholic duty to be decent members of society, contributing, where possible, to the common good.  Please, therefore engage in discussion in a spirit of respect, bearing in mind that the Church exhorts us to adhere to certain principles but does not dictate that we should support (or not) any particular political party. Our overall aim must be to take care not to offend God in the way we vote; not to support the transgression of His Moral Law.  To this end we pray…

St Thomas More, intercede for us, and for all the politicians participating in the forthcoming election; guide and inspire us in the weeks ahead… Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.  

Victory for Parents: Named Person Scheme Axed by Scottish Government! 

Education Secretary John Swinney will today announce he is to repeal the controversial ‘Named Person’ laws which were rejected by the Supreme Court two years ago.

The Herald understands he will scrap parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People Act of 2014, which provided for a ‘named person’ to ensure the wellbeing of every young person in Scotland.  Click here to read more and here to read the report from the Christian Institute.

Comments invited…   

Scottish Bishops Challenge SNP Government on Freedom of Conscience

President of Scotland’s Catholic Bishops asks First Minister to protect freedom of conscience

The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert has written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to express his

Bishop Hugh Gilbert OSB

concerns at the attacks launched against the SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron (right)  following her vote against an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill that would have lifted the legal protections presently afforded to the unborn child in Northern Ireland.

In his letter on behalf of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Bishop Gilbert calls on the SNP leader, on behalf of all those “who cherish freedom of conscience within the public square” to provide an urgent reassurance that freedom of conscience will be protected within the SNP and valued in Scottish public life, at every level.

The full text of the letter is shown below.

Letter to the First Minister

Dear First Minister,

I write following recent public comments made by Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP Member of Parliament for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.

On Tuesday 9 July, Dr Cameron voted against an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill that would have lifted the legal protections presently afforded to the unborn child in Northern Ireland. It is a long-standing parliamentary convention that votes on such ethical issues are considered matters of conscience and, thus, are not subject to the party whip. Indeed, this was confirmed in writing to Dr Cameron prior to the 9 July vote by the SNP Chief Whip, Patrick Grady MP.

In the days following the vote, however, Dr Cameron has been subject to a significant degree of hostility from many quarters, including ordinary members and officer bearers of the Scottish National Party, some of which she describes as being “nothing less than vitriolic” in nature. She adds that according to local officials it may “now be incompatible to hold pro-life views and be a SNP MP, candidate, to pass vetting or be elected in any capacity”. She further notes that, despite prompting, she has presently received no public re-assurance from the leadership of the SNP that this is not, in fact, the case. I therefore am writing to you as Leader of the Scottish National Party to seek such a public re-assurance.  [emphasis added – Ed.]

I believe I write on behalf of all who cherish freedom of conscience within the public square and hold in high regard those in public life who remain true to their conscience, even at the expense of personal popularity or political advantage.

“Moral courage is readiness to expose oneself to suffering or inconvenience which does not affect the body,” wrote the co-founder of the Scottish National Party, Sir Compton Mackenzie, in 1962, “It arises from firmness of moral principle and is independent of the physical constitution.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter First Minister.

I await your reply with anticipation. In the meantime, please be assured of my continued prayers and good wishes.

I am, Yours Sincerely,

Bishop Hugh Gilbert
President
Bishops’ Conference of Scotland   – Source:  website of the Catholic Parliamentary Office 

Comment: 

On this occasion, we are pleased to thank the Bishops of Scotland for their public support of Dr Lisa Cameron – and we await the response from Nicola Sturgeon with nothing akin to bated breath 😀  Predictable assurances of respect for freedom of consciences to be expected. 

To offer your support to Dr Cameron MP, you can email her   lisa.cameron.mp@parliament.uk  – for more contact details and information click here 

Scots Bishops Silent as Government Covers-up Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Regular blogger, Gabriel Syme, writes…

The SNP government is withholding findings of a report regarding “sectarianism” (anti-catholicism) at football – see Evening Times report…

The SNP have form on this, as in 2011 (when Salmond was First Minister), data on “sectarianism” (anti-Catholicism) was destroyed by the Crown Office, rather than released publicly – read the Scottish Law Reporter ‘Hate Data’ destroyed as Salmond’s SNP fear Independent Scotland viewed as ‘Too Sectarian’ to join predominantly Catholic European Union

Quite a big difference when they fall over themselves to decry imaginary prejudice against Muslims and homosexuals.

Of course, only silence from Archbishop Tartaglia and co.

Comment: 

It is Gabriel Syme’s last point that should catch our attention.  Why on earth would the Scottish Bishops, so quick to rush out statements of concern about refugees, asylum seekers, perceived discrimination against every non-Christian and anti-Catholic group you care to name, why on earth do they remain silent about this grave injustice against Catholics?   

Scottish Government, Totalitarianism, Smoke Alarms, Pianos… You name it! 

In the name of safety, and in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in England, the Scottish Government is changing the law to require every home-owner in Scotland to install fire and heat alarms all over the house – and it doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny flat, the same rules apply. As one reader who does live in a one-bedroom flat points out, it’s bad enough when one smoke alarm goes off, but if, as this new law requires, there are umpteen around the place all interlinked, this is likely to be a real nuisance, day and night.   As a Catholic, she wonders if she is within her rights to refuse to comply – because the local authority has the power to enforce this law and she’s not sure what that would mean and if it might entail causing public scandal if her non-compliance is reported in the media.  

Here’s the BBC report on this change to Scottish Law, which the Government claims has come in “after consultation” but I, for one, can’t find anyone who was consulted.  And it’s interesting checking out what the electricians are saying; certainly the Government’s claim that the basic cost to each home-owner should be around £200 seems to fall very far wide of the mark.  Electricians are likely to make a fortune out of this latest intrusion into family life by the Scottish Government – remember, they’re not forking out to pay for this;  home-owners are left to foot the bill. 

Comment: 

Is our reader right to worry about causing scandal by refusing to comply with this new legislation?  Or is the Scottish Government, yet again, intruding into family life, this time in the name of safety standards, as the Named Person Scheme is justified in the name of child protection?  What next?  What if the Scottish Government decides – in the name of improving mental health – that we all ought to learn a musical instrument and so we must all install a piano in the living room?  Might seem like a crazy analogy but we live in crazy times!

On a serious note… Can any Government do that? Tell us what to install in our homes, post-purchase? Surely, it is up to each of us to decide what we want to place in our homes?  Are we soon going to have to install burglar alarms? Are homes in London going to be required NOT to have knives, as part of the attempts to end the knife-crime epidemic there?  Just where does the authority of politicians end, and the rights of the individual take precedence?  Does the “woman’s right to choose” what happens to “her body” only apply to abortion? What about my female neighbour’s right to choose not to have a bunch of interlinked smoke and heat alarms installed to protect her body… Doesn’t she have that right to choose?   Share your thoughts – and any legal expertise you may have lurking under your belt…

And to our readers in other parts of the UK – this is very likely to come to your neck of the woods as well, so, think on, as they say south of the border 😀