Canadian Appeals Court Rules Father Must Affirm Teen Daughter’s Gender Transition

The British Columbia Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 10 that the father of a 15-year-old girl could not prevent his child from pursuing hormone treatment and must affirm his daughter’s transgender male identity.

The father and daughter’s identities have been concealed by a court order. Court documents refer to the daughter as “AB” and the father as “CD.”

According to earlier court documents, AB has been troubled since her parents separated in 2013, suffering from depression and attempting suicide on at least four separate occasions. At the age of 13, AB claimed to be transgender. A school counselor affirmed AB’s transgenderism and even helped her pick out a male name—without informing her father.

The school also recommended AB see psychologist and LGBTQ author Dr. Wallace Wong. Wong recommended that AB begin taking cross-sex hormones.

CD argued that it would be better for his daughter to wait until she was older before embarking on any irreversible courses of treatment.

AB then went to see pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Brenden Hursh at the Gender Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital in August 2018. Although AB was just 14 at the time, Hursh informed CD in December 2018 that his consent was unnecessary for treatment because AB was capable of making her own decisions.

CD took the matter to court.

In February 2019, Justice Gregory Bowden of the BC Supreme Court ruled in favor of AB, stating that she should begin taking testosterone injections on her own prerogative. Bowden further stipulated that both mother and father must refer to their daughter using male pronouns and her preferred male name. CD was also warned that if he expressed his opposition to his daughter’s transition in public, he would be charged with “family violence.”

In an interview with The Federalist after Bowden’s decision, CD described his daughter as “very vulnerable” and lacking the “mental capacity and emotional maturity” to make life-changing decisions.

Throughout the interview, CD continued to refer to his daughter as a girl, “because she is a girl. Her DNA will not change through all these experiments that they do.”

Last Friday’s decision eased the previous court’s ruling on “family violence,” allowing CD to “express his opinion in private communications with family, close friends and close advisors, provided none of these individuals is part of or connected with the media or any public forum.”

“While of course CD is fully entitled to his opinions and beliefs, he cannot forget that AB, now a mature 15-year-old, with the support of his [sic] mother and his [sic] medical advisors, has chosen a course of action that includes not only hormone treatment, but a legal change of his [sic] name and gender identity,” BC Court of Appeals Chief Justice Robert Bauman, Justice Harvey Groberman and Justice Barbara Fisher wrote in their ruling.

The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms, one of six intervenors in the case, argued that CD’s parental rights and freedom of speech have been trampled on by the court.

“The state cannot lawfully compel parents to voice agreement and support for an elective treatment which the parent believes is dangerous, harmful and against the interests of impressionable children,” JCCF wrote in its factum. “… The state cannot compel parents to forget their daughters and remember sons in their stead.”

The Association for Reformed Political Action Canada, another intervenor, agreed that CD’s forced approval of his daughter’s gender transition would have ramifications for years to come.

“It is a profound violation of [CD’s] freedom,” ARPA said in a press release, “damaging to his integrity, and arguably damaging to his relationship with AB as well—even if it’s what AB wants to hear.”

Photo: David Tran/Alamy Stock Photo