Transgenderism’s denial of biology started with same-sex marriage

Another month, another illiberal ruling from a scientifically illiterate judge declaring that belief in biology is “not worthy of respect in a democratic society”.

The case of Maya Forstater, sacked for questioning on social media the government’s proposals for gender self-identification, follows the case in October of Dr David Mackereth, who lost his government consulting job because he declined to say he would use pronouns at odds with a person’s biological sex.

In both cases, the defence was made on the basis of protections for beliefs under the Equality Act, and in both cases the tribunal judge ruled that a belief in biology (and, in Mackereth’s case, the Bible) was not protected and, being apparently offensive, was not compatible with human dignity – one of the grounds under the European Convention on Human Rights that speech may be curtailed.

Will these surreal and disturbing rulings be overturned on appeal? We have to hope so. How can speaking of basic human biology be regarded by any self-respecting society as incompatible with human dignity? Some commentators have wondered if this latest insanity represents ‘peak trans’, from which the only movement can be a return to reason, but I’m not sure if we don’t yet have some way still to go down the woke rabbit hole.

Consider that even transgender people who stand up for biology are currently facing defamation and bans, while the Scottish government has once again begun to consult on plans to press ahead with gender self-declaration.

Where is the Church of England on all this? Nowhere at all, or rather on the wrong side entirely. Not a peep of support for those being persecuted for standing up for biology and biblical beliefs, yet no limit apparently when it comes to encouragement for the innovations of transgender activists.

The Church has, for instance, issued guidance for all its schools encouraging them to treat any child who identifies with the opposite sex as that sex, no questions asked, including by allowing them to cross-dress and use the toilet and changing facilities of the opposite sex. It does this without any consideration for the welfare and privacy of girls, stating categorically that ‘schools can make adjustments to meet the needs of a trans pupil without being accused of discriminating against non-trans pupils’.

It has endorsed gender transition by publishing official guidance on how to use the ‘affirmation of baptism’ service to mark such an event.

It has invited controversial transgender activist group Mermaids to deliver training in its schools, leading one vicar, John Parker, to resign in May as school governor and vicar when his diocese backed the school in pursuing a course of action wholly informed by transgender ideology. The bishop of the diocese, Stephen Cottrell, has been accused of telling Mr Parker and other clergy concerned about the direction of the Church of England that ‘if we disagree with the approach the Diocese is taking on matters of human sexuality we should follow our consciences and leave.’

Far from distancing itself from Mr Cottrell, the Church has promoted him, announcing last week that he is to be the next Archbishop of York, a move that has been criticised as making ‘official’ the capitulation of the CofE to the LGBT zeitgeist and as completing the ‘long march’ of the progressives through the institutions.

It is hard to disagree with that assessment. No wonder former Queen’s Chaplain Gavin Ashenden has said that he left the Church of England because of its failure to stand up to political correctness.

If we are going to return to reason it will be no thanks to the nation’s established Church. But is it really so simple to return from here to a place of rational thinking? I’m not so sure.

Science and reality are on our side, yes. But what many critics of the latest transgender nonsense are failing to realise, or refusing to accept, is that the flight from biology began not with transgenderism but with marriage. Many of these critics are fully on-board with so-called ‘equal marriage’ but regard transgender ideology as anti-scientific. They’re happy for society to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, but not at all impressed with the idea that ‘woman’ should be redefined to include men who identify as women.

But one follows from the other, which is why transgender ideology has gone mainstream just as same-sex marriage is enshrined and normalised. Our elites think they can redefine ‘woman’ without reference to biology precisely because they have already redefined marriage to remove its connection to biology. For just as ‘woman’ is based on the biological (and genetic) reality of the human female, marriage is based on the biological reality of the procreative pair.

Marriage of course is much more than merely for reproduction, and some couples find they cannot have children, but there can be no doubt that the concept of marriage in human society arises from the fact that it is the male-female pair that produces children. To redefine marriage so that it no longer reflects that biological reality, for the sake of ‘equality’, is to open the door to all kinds of equality-based renunciations of the significance of biology in human language and affairs. It is a door that the transgender lobby has walked right through, demanding equality between women and men who believe they are ‘really’ women by redefining what ‘woman’ means without reference to biology.

Can we return to reason without a return to the traditional, biologically-grounded definition of marriage? Many critics of transgender ideology say yes, arguing that these are completely different issues.

But I think they’re wrong, because they are in denial about the underlying logic of the anti-biological stance of transgender ideology. Transgender ideology feeds on the flight from biology already accomplished in the same-sex marriage revolution. Unless and until our society recognises that it made a mistake in allowing ‘equality’ to override biology in its treatment of marriage, it will never be able to do the same with transgenderism. To assert the significance of biology in one is to imply it in the other, because it is about the importance of words and ideas staying connected to the realities that underlie them.

Marriage is the institution that supremely reflects the distinction between the sexes, as each partner plays (all being well) their respective role in the creation of children, who are then brought up by their biological parents.

If biology is no longer of relevance here, where the significance of one’s sex is supremely expressed, why should it be anywhere else? If equality beats biology in our understanding of marriage, why should it not in our understanding of what it is to be a woman or man?

That is the question that our society needs to face-up to and answer if it is to disarm the damaging anti-science of transgender ideology. Nothing less will do.

First published on Christian Today. 

9 thoughts on “Transgenderism’s denial of biology started with same-sex marriage

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  1. I also hold the very belief that the judges in both Mackereth and Forstater held to be unworthy of respect. I have that interest in preventing this new legal doctrine from becoming entrenched by its adoption in the senior courts whose rulings set precedents. I intend to ask to be allowed to intervene as an interested party in any appeals that might set a binding precedent that declares to be unworthy of respect a belief that is common to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, certain Radical Feminist schools of thought (including Ms. Forstater’s own), zoologists, anthropologists, J.K Rowling, Mr Justice Ormrod (see below), you and me.

    The belief that both employment judges now have ruled to be unworthy of respect happens to be a settled doctrine of English law, other than certain exceptional circumstances set down in the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

    I took legal action in 2005 in an attempt to prevent the implementation of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. I was unsuccessful in Strasbourg because it was said that the risk to me of marrying somebody transgendered unawares was too remote, presumably because I was already married. Ironically, my wife died a few days after I read this disappointing decision.

    The case of The Queen (on the application of John Allman) v The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs [2005] is documented here:

    Stop Gender Fraud!
    https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/gra/

    The landmark judgment in which Ormrod J ruled that English law legislated the doctrine that two employment judges have recently ruled to be unworthy of respect was Corbett v Corbett [1970].

    I noted the judgment in Corbett v Corbett at the time. I remembered the “centimetres” rhetoric during the trial used by counsel for the husband, which I have recently noticed Ormrod J adopted and adapted in the dicta of the judgment.

    My opinion in 2005 was that when the ECtHR found against the UK in Goodwin v UK, the UK ought to have the courage to say “no” to the ECtHR, insisting that we preferred our English law set out in Corbett v Corbett, to the interpretation the ECtHR was trying to impose and saying that we abrogated to the necessary extent from the Convention.

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  2. Hallo Will and Christian greetings at this season!   This is to thank you for this latest excellent article from you which deserves wide circulation.  I hope you have submitted it to TCW?  That one apart, there are as you are probably aware few sites that will accept the Biblically grounded  and conservative comments you make except perhaps that of Gavin Ashenden, and Jules Gomes. “If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) I think you will agree that never have such foundations enshrined in our long Christian traditions and institutions been challenged as on the scale these are today – marriage, the right to life, the recognition of  God given male and female sexual identity, free speech, censorship of opinions, and much more.  As you so rightly point out a further stage has been reached whereby the ‘left’ actually deny scientific and biological reality in the pitiful cult of  the ‘trans’ ideology. You suggest that this may have reached its peak. I am not so sure, if for no other reason that the left does not easily cede its victories, and added to that we now have a deeply corrupted judiciary which has already made legal rulings.  Unless and until these are overturned via courts of appeal I can see no reversal of the present trends and Christians (and others) will fall foul of unprecedented bad law via Equality and Gender Recognition Acts etc as they continue to stand for principled rights of free speech and opinions.   Given too the sheer weight of combined opposition to basic Christian belief lies with the UK establishment, the majority of MPs, social media and liberal ‘intellectual’ influence in most of our higher seats of ‘learning’, and not least the BBC – and  not forgetting an increasingly apostate national church.  Is there an answer to all this and if so where does it lie?My own view is that possibly a new Bill of Rights may provide it, but then that is likely to take some years even if proposed, and meanwhile these alien ideologies become more entrenched and seen as ‘human rights’ endorsed by law. What I would like to see by way of an answer is a renewed recognition and  formal return to our time honoured and superb Common Law tradition, arguably the single most important contribution we (the English) have made to civilised  behaviour and personal relationships  we have given to the world.  In essence, all actions and behaviour, speech and opinions are normative and allowed entirely free from government intervention and therefore permitted by and for all, with the single  proviso of the forbidding of violent or threatening behaviour towards others in any form.I accept that this aspiration is unlikely to become reality given the present political climate and the extraordinarily low mental and largely atheistic mind-set of our political class and calibre of MPs in our parliament. I fully agree with you that the rot for ‘trans’ set in with the sanction of SSM, and the further danger is that these distorted ideologies become increasingly entrenched and viewed as ‘human rights’ as endorsed by law.  In this connection I have written a piece for TCW entitled the ‘Myth of Human Rights’ not yet accepted.  For your interest I attach by way of a Word doc, in which I cite your earlier and excellent  article on abortion   Although I have not argued this at length in the article, I believe that the only ‘human right’ is that of life itself and any human rights are grounded in the Decalogue, but then only incidentally and secondary to what are defined in the commandments as obligations and duties to God and neighbour.  Thus: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”, by regulating our behaviour towards our fellow men, guarentees us what we call our  “rights” to the extent to which these are observed and obeyed.   All for now and thanks again for your continued stand for Biblical truth.  May the Lord continue to encourage you and bless your stand for Him.  In Christ Grah

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  3. Thank you – this is a very accurate & astute assessment of the situation we find ourselves facing today & will be looked back upon as a record of how we ‘got into this mess’.
    Essentially we are living in an age where personal perception shapes & defines our identity, whatever the facts or scientific reality. In some ways it’s a world of ‘make believe’ & the ultimate expression of truth is what I want it to be not what is. Therefore there is no longer any sort of common sense as all things have now become relative including truth & this will always be at odds with Christian thought & doctrine where ultimately it is the ‘truth which sets us free’.

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  4. We may have thought that Rowan Williams was a one-off appointment, allowed to go through because it would conclusively demonstrate to the Church of England the cul-de-sac into which it would be led by progressive liberalism. If so, we were wrong: Rowan turned out to be the hors d’oeuvres to Justin Welby who would be the main meal. Justin’s appointment was a deliberate deceit of evangelicals – an uncanny C of E precursor to the Conservative Party’s coronation of Theresa May which was a deliberate deceit of Brexit voters. Liberalism (in faux evangelical clothing) had gained power without a shot being fired. It was a level of infamy which must surely weigh heavily on Welby; my observation of the man is that it rather plainly does.

    The point is, if anybody had a first duty to call the nation back to its senses over feminism, marriage, identity politics, and freedom of thought and speech, it should have been the C of E. Even now I believe it would receive a surprisingly grateful echo of agreement from a confused, hacked off and generally miserable public if it were to act up to its calling. But if anyone still had hopes for repentence, Stephen Cottrell’s forthcoming takeover at York confirms there’s no chance whatever that the C of E intends to change direction. Despite society crumbling around them, and their church emptying by the day, the captivation of Justin and friends to cultural Maxism renders them incapable even of listening to honest science, let alone paying heed to the Bible’s teaching about the difference between the sexes and the roles that each are fitted to play in human relationships and nurturing of children. And it’s children in particular who are paying the price of the nation’s folly and the church’s faithlessness.

    But it’s interesting that, at last, people are beginning to notice that the logic behind the PC project is so far at odds with reality that it can only survive (temporarily) by denying science. And that’s interesting because science is, always was, and always will be the observable fruits of God’s creative design and intention. There can never be one scintilla of dissonance between what the Bible tells us and what creation tells us – God is the source of both and he cannot be at odds with himself. So, whether people are atheists or Christians, when they accept the reality of, and argue for, the authority of genuine objective science over mere human ideology, they are assenting to the intention of God. Christians really are missing a basic truth if they fail to see how God speaks through honest science.

    And that’s an important point for us Christians when we find ourselves engaged in today’s secular battle. Our overriding priority is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know that if everybody believed in him and lived as he wants us to live, our present social chaos would not exist. Equally we know that is never going to be the case. But it remains true that, even if they don’t accept our Christian faith for themselves, everybody would live better, more fulfilled lives if they were to live according to the way creation’s design tells us is the most obvious way to live and therefore to flourish. So I’d suggest that, if only for the sake of helping people to flourish in their temporal lives, our argument in the secular sphere should be based firmly on science and logic rather than Biblical teaching. And that is not to deny the gospel: it is a case of using the witness of God in creation for people’s good when that is the route to hearing God’s voice which they can understand. The imperative for Christians to declare the gospel remains preeminent but to use it as an argument for social policy in a secular world is like casting pearls before swine – meant well but not actually effective for the desired purpose.

    The C of E could and should always have applied simple logic to the witness of biological science (witness to God’s purpose as described in Genesis and confirmed right along the Bible’s time line) in order to explain the efficacy of heterosexual marriage. And one should have been able to expect at least an objective layman’s observation of the physical and psychological differences between the sexes as common sense evidence! And if they were/are all so wrapped up in the classics, church politics and history, tradition, and ritual that they couldn’t/cannot present that argument to a society which desperately needed to hear it, then they have failed to think through one of the most basic questions which face a newborn Christian: how does my understanding of God, of mortality and eternity, of the physical and the spiritual all fit together? If they could not and cannot hold a reasonable synthesis of that most basic issue in their heads, one wonders what on earth is going on in their heads, or how they would even be able to answer the most basic questions from children in a primary school classroom with any degree of authority. Perhaps this partly explains their public silence or embarrassed obfuscation over such questions. Perhaps we are attributing to liberalism what we should actually be dismissing as straightforward ignorance – literally not knowing what they are talking about because they’ve never bothered to get their heads round it. Is not the winning hand of cultural Marxism the fact that so many people do not apply their minds even to the most basic questions?

    A rational and humble acquiescence to the necessity for stable marriages between men and women is essential to human flourishing. Through marriage people can live in the closest companionship, and enjoy a workable pattern of home life where children can be safely born and nurtured in love and security; the bonds and loyalties which are the natural fruit of family life mean that they can act as the building bricks of communities and nations. It provides individuals with a firm identity, a sense of self worth, a set of values against which many of life’s challenges can be judged and kept in due proportion. And of course it is the collective experience of a broadly similar experience of family life that provides the kind of identity and shared values that go to make up a cohesive nation.

    So, yes indeed, marriage is right there at the heart of the matter. Without it we are left with a shapeless, rootless mass of people who cannot relate themselves to the created order because they have defied its most pertinent guidance on how they should be living. And it’s no surprise when the whole thing starts to fall apart.

    I see some signs that this kind of thinking is breaking through; there may be a turning of the tide in people’s willingness to be coerced into accepting what is plainly nonsense and what is clearly making everybody miserable. It’s the greatest of shames that any turning of the tide (if and when it happens) will be in spite of the Church of England (as an organisation) rather than because of it.

    Many thanks, Will, for your output which is ever more widely available.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “If biology is no longer of relevance here, where the significance of one’s sex is supremely expressed, why should it be anywhere else?”

    That’s very much the question Pope Pius XI posed in his encyclical Casti Connubii in 1930, after the Lambeth Conference of that year decided to allow contraception in marriage. Transgenderism’s denial of biology has deeper roots than you have recognised in this article!

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  6. “Transgenderism’s denial of biology started with same-sex marriage”

    Well, no, it clearly didn’t, since transgenderism was around long, long before same-sex marriage was even on the cards. And in Iran, where not only is there no same-sex marriage but homosexual behaviour of any kind is strictly illegal, more so-called “sex change” operations are performed than in any other country in the world, with the exception of Thailand. Indeed, such mutilation has often been regarded as a solution to the “problem” of homosexuality.

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    1. @Guglielmo Marinaro

      I hope Will edits this post, including its misleading title, to clarify what he really means. He could then reply to our comments saying he has corrected the error.

      I believe Will has an important point to make. The way his point is worded though, and how it therefore comes across, is (as you have explained patiently) “clearly” not right. It is the opposite of the truth, if it is intended to make a statement about the chronology of history.

      In 2005, I was already in court, trying to stop the implementation of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 wasn’t implemented until 2014. Same-sex marriage therefore wasn’t the thin end of a wedge with acquired gender recognition at the fat end of it, as the mistaken chronology implies.

      Perhaps Will had it in mind that the Gender Recognition Act did actually enable the first same-sex marriages in reality, by creating the legal fiction it did. indeed, the Act was passed because in Goodwin v UK, the would-be bride’s claimed Convention right to marry as a woman was held to have been denied by the application of Corbett v Corbett [1970], perfectly correctly under UK law.

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  7. Identity theory is the only ideology of which I am aware that:

    1 – Has no basis in biology.
    2 – Has no basis in science.
    3 – Has no basis in psychology.
    4 – Has no basis in theology. -& –
    5 – Where there is a very strong argument that it is in contravention to natural law, which is the law that is a required basis for a representative-democracy.
    At the same time:

    it is accepted and “swallowed whole” by most in the psychological professions and many in theology.

    It’s not a matter of what you would like to be called, it is a matter of forcing others to accept how you identify yourself, whether or not that identity has any basis in fact.

    50 years ago most in both fields would have regarded those who claim an identity, not supported by biology, to be disordered; something akin to believing that they are a duck or a chicken or Jesus Christ.

    Now – you can be charged with a crime, or be fired from your means of making a living (or be relegated to a second-class-status in competitive sports) for believing in reality, rather than accepting the whims of those that do not.

    I can only conclude that critical thinking skills are not being well taught.
    And those that push identity theory consider this progress.

    Liked by 1 person

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