There have been some significant and welcome recent decisions to protect women and children.
Firstly, the English RFU changed its mind about allowing those born male to compete in women’s rugby.
It concluded “the inclusion of trans people assigned male at birth in female contact rugby cannot be balanced against considerations of safety and fairness”.
Trans players can still play rugby, but in the category of their birth sex, so someone born male must play with other males.
Secondly, GIDS – the gender identity service – is closing after the Cass Review raised significant concerns, especially about the rush to affirmation and use of puberty blockers on kids.
This follows multiple reports from whistleblowers concerned that the clinic was bowing to pressure from activists groups and wasn’t using a robust evidence base.
Those in need will hopefully now get better care, looking at the root causes and not simply treating the symptoms.
The third story relates to the Allison Bailey case.
Bailey is a black lesbian barrister who was discriminated against by her chambers for her ‘gender critical’ beliefs – ie, believing biological sex is real.
Bailey disagrees with campaigners such as the charity Stonewall that someone’s self-identified ‘gender identity’ should override their sex, and argues that women have the right to access female-only sports, prisons, refuges, and changing rooms.
She was investigated by her chambers for tweeting her views – but an employment tribunal ruled in her favour and awarded her aggravated damages.
As Sonia Sodha observed in The Guardian: “One day we may look back and wonder at how a regressive and controversial worldview– that being a woman is not a scientific fact, but variously an inner feeling or conformity to sexist stereotypes of femininity – came to exert so much influence over so many public institutions and professions.”
The trans conversation – with the rush to label people TERFs or transphobes – came about quickly. The tide can turn just as quickly. The UK is leading on this but France, Denmark, and even the US see a shift.
Organisations like Stonewall and Mermaids still have a significant foothold in schools, policy and big corporations. This needs to be addressed, but the pressure is mounting on these two in particular.
We aren’t free to define ourselves as we please.
Creation matters – we are created male and female, in the image of God. Bodies matter – they are an integral part of our being in the world. Truth matters – and will set us free.
Peter Lynas, Director, Evangelical Alliance