A new Canadian law is threatening the right of parents to decide how to best raise their children. Late last week, Ontario passed the highly controversial “Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act of 2017” (commonly referred to as Bill 89). The bill—deemed “totalitarian” by critics—includes parameters that allow the government to remove children from parents that refuse to accept a child’s “gender identity” or “gender expression.”
As the Christian Post reports, the new law replaces the existing “Child and Family Services Act” (or Bill 28) that governed child protection, foster care, and adoption services. The language of the bill stipulates that a family’s willingness to accept a child’s gender preferences is a factor to be considered when determining “the best interests of the child.”
“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,” said Michael Coteau, the minister of Child and Family Services, who introduced the bill. “If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”
Additionally, Bill 89 deletes verbiage from the previous law that stated the religious faith in which the parents were raising the child be taken into consideration. According to the new law, child protection services should only take the child’s own “creed” or “religion” into account when assessing the best interests of the child.
“With the passage of Bill 89, we’ve entered an era of totalitarian power by the state, such as never witnessed before in Canada’s history,” said Jack Fonseca, senior political strategist for Campaign Life Coalition. “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.”
Bill 89 passed the legislature with a 63 to 23 vote, with all liberal MPPs supporting the measure and a handful of conservatives voting against it. The conservative opposition at the most recent vote contrasted a March vote on the bill’s second reading, in which MPPs from both parties unanimously voted in favor.
Conservative MPPs present at Queen’s Park for the vote opposed the bill, which was in stark contrast to their position at second reading in March, when 83 of Ontario’s 107 MPPs passed Bill 89 unanimously…
A source present at a Tory caucus meeting two weeks ago told LifeSiteNews the Conservative members were swayed by “three or four” MPPs who said they could not in conscience vote for what the source described as a bill that is “fundamentally and morally wrong”…
Parents As First Educators and the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) have also been at the forefront of relentless lobbying against the bill.
But despite these efforts, no Liberal broke ranks to vote on behalf of concerned parents, and a number of New Democratic Party MPPs voted for the bill as well.
The bill’s June 1 passage happened to come on the same day as a Christian Post report about new policies of Illinois social services that forbid foster parents from caring for children and bar social workers from employment if they do not support a child’s gender transition.
According to The Federalist, the Illinois director of the Department of Children and Family Services approved “enhanced department procedures” that established “mandatory minimum standards for LGBTQ children under its authority.” Drafted with assistance from the ACLU, the new standards “will not tolerate exposing LGBTQ children and youth to staff/providers who are not supportive of children and youths’ right to self-determination of sexual/gender identity.”
“If a government entity is set to be the ultimate arbiter of someone’s truth, being or existence, then at what point do parents get left out of the equation,” asked Meg Kilgannon, executive director of the Virginia-based Concerned Parents and Educators, in relation to the Illinois policy. With the passage of Bill 89, it is a question that Ontarians now find themselves with grappling with.
Supporters claim the law ultimately benefits children because it allows them to have a more direct say in any and all decisions that affect them.
“I believe that this new Act, in its principles, represents a paradigm shift for the province with its commitment to the participation of children and youth in every decision that affects them, the creation of a child-centered system of service, and commitment to anti-racism and children’s rights,” Irwin Elman, Ontario’s provincial advocate for children and youth, said in a statement.
But critics fear the new law opens the door for unprecedented overreach that may adversely affect Christians. Fonseca told LifeSiteNews the bill’s passage wreaked of “stunning hypocrisy and anti-Christian bigotry” and gives the government “a type of police power to bust down your door, and seize your biological children if you are known to oppose LGBT ideology and the fraudulent theory of ‘gender identity’, if for instance, some claim is made that your child may be same-sex attracted or confused about their ‘gender.’”
(h/t Christian Post)
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