LGBT activists claim that telling parents about what their kids do at school is a human rights violation

One of the things LGBT activists have understood far better than social conservatives is the old political maxim “personnel is policy.” That is, those who answer the phones and staff the offices and the bureaucracy actually have a tremendous amount of influence and power—the politicians themselves are often only the tip of the iceberg. Many important decisions are made by people we did not elect and will never be accountable to voters.

One of those bureaucrats is targeting New Brunswick premier Blaine Higgs’ new parental rights policy, which has proven very popular. The amendment to Policy 713—which Higgs has said he is willing to fight an election over—is simple: schools cannot “socially transition” children by changing their names or pronouns without informing parents. This is a widely-supported, common sense policy that is standard in many other places, but to LGBT activists who would like to keep parents out of these essential conversations, Higgs’ move is enormously threatening.

Kelly Lamrock is a former Liberal MLA, lawyer, and consultant to the province of New Brunswick as “Child and Youth Advocate.” To much media fanfare, he has presented Higgs with the latest challenge to his parental rights policy, releasing a report of nearly 100 pages accusing the government of violating the Charter rights of children. According to Global News:

Lamrock said forcing any non-binary and transgender students to use a name they don’t identify with “is a violation of their protected rights under the Human Rights Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Parents have an important role to play in their child’s development, but the government’s changes were vague and created confusion, he said. “The parent has a right to teach their values to a child,” Lamrock told reporters after he released his report.

“The parent does not have the right to a state apparatus to force the child to live by their values.”

Premier Blaine Higgs has defended the changes to the LGBTQ school policy, arguing that parents have the right to know whether their children are questioning their gender identity. But Higgs’s government has faced strong backlash, including within his own cabinet and from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Dissenting members of Higgs’s Progressive Conservatives voted with the opposition in mid-June to pass a motion asking Lamrock’s office to review the changes to Policy 713. The result was Tuesday’s report, in which Lamrock says the policy changes effectively veto a child’s decision on what pronouns or names they can use in school until they are 16. The revisions, he says, have left the Department of Education, teachers and administrators legally vulnerable.

Higgs hasn’t responded to the report yet, but thus far he has weathered all political opposition due to the fact that the public largely supports him. An attempt to force a leadership review as a first step towards his removal hilariously fizzled—as it turns out, asking the public to punish a politician for insisting that they have a right to know what their children are up to while in the care of government employees isn’t the winning proposition LGBT activists want us to believe it is. Much of their agenda only appears popular because the press backs them and politicians either embrace it (progressives) or kowtow (conservatives).

LGBT activists realize that Higgs has called their bluff and is willing to take his policy to the voters. And so they are doing what progressives always do—insisting that their agenda is, in fact, a non-negotiable matter of human rights. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been used as a blank check by progressives for decades now, and it is an incredibly effective tactic. If Higgs cannot be convinced that his policy is unpopular, the logic goes, then he will have to be convinced that it is illegal, instead.

Lamrock firmly rejects the idea of the parental right to be involved in the lives of their children, stating that the issue of new names and pronouns should actually be the responsibility of school principals, psychologists, and teachers and that any “oncpet of parental rights which starts and stops with asserting that parents should have unlimited control over the child is an analysis too limited to stand.”

Of course, that is not what Higgs has said, and it is not what the amendment says. Lamrock is straw-manning the policy to make it easier to condemn. Later in the report, he reiterates: “The parent does not have an absolute right to control a child.” That, too, is an intentional straw man. Predictably, Liberal leader Susan Holt leapt to embrace the recommendations of her former Liberal colleague, as did Green leader David Coon and LGBTQ leader Gail Costello of Pride in Education. “I think it’s time for the premier to take a step back, trust his own employees, trust Kelly Lamrock, trust the professionals, and this is a chance to back away and do what’s best for kids,” Costello said.

Notice who she didn’t mention? That’s right. Parents. Higgs has placed his trust in parents, and polls show that parents are returning that trust. In the face of LGBT backlash—and there will be plenty more to come—I hope he holds strong. Activists on both sides of this debate are watching New Brunswick right now.

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