Ireland’s children’s minister pushes to help minors ‘change gender’

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Ireland’s children’s minister pushes to help minors ‘change gender’

The Irish minister for children, disability, equality, and integration has said he supports proposals to make it easier for children in Ireland under the age of 16 to “change their gender,” after the government confirmed that it will introduce such laws for 16- and 17-year-olds.

The Irish government, which is currently a coalition between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and the Green Party, released its Programme for Government last month, which pledged to “[r]emove the need for a person aged 16 and 17 years to have two specialist reports before they can apply for legal gender recognition.”

The Programme for Government document, entitled “Our Shared Future,” also promises to “deliver a framework for the development of National Gender Clinics and Multidisciplinary Teams for children and adults” and to “examine arrangements for children under 16.”

Roderic O’Gorman, the new minister for children, disability, equality, and integration, said earlier this week that experts had proposed making it easier for children under 16 to “change gender.”

“Right now, if they want to initiate a gender change, they have to get kind of high-level medical consultants to actually sign off on that. Whereas the recommendation is to make that easier to allow a GP basically to sign off to say yes,” O’Gorman said.

“In an area like this, you should be led by expert advice,” he added.

Irish journalist John McGuirk has pointed outthat the so-called “expert advice” which O’Gorman referred to actually came from a review group made up of a number of trans activists.

“There was one Doctor on the review group — and she is a doctor of law, not a doctor of medicine. The review group did contain, however, four representatives from NGOs that advocate for trans rights,” McGuirk writes.

“How can this be said to be ‘expert advice’? It is only expert if one is seeking experts in trans rights activism, and not expertise in children’s medicine or psychology,” he continues.

“This review panel did not contain one single psychologist, one single gender specialist, or one single GP. There’s a lone nurse on it, but with respect to nurses, they’re not qualified in gender issues in children.”

O’Gorman has been the focus of scrutiny on social media in the past week after a picture of him emerged at a 2018 Dublin “Pride” parade with prominent U.K. LGBT activist Peter Tatchell.

A number of journalists and social media users wanted the new children’s minister to state publicly that he condemns pedophila in light of Tatchell’s 1997 letter to The Guardianin which he said “not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.”

Earlier this week, O’Gorman said the 2018 Dublin “Pride” parade was “the first and only time” he has met Tatchell.

“I had no idea about the letter. Had I read it straight before the march I probably would have re-considered [taking a photo with him]. I absolutely don’t share his views on those points,” he said in a statement on Monday.

A petition calling for O’Gorman to be removed from his position as children’s minister has been signed by more than 4,000 people.

The petition cites a 2017 tweet of O’Gorman’s that the petitioners say is of “great concern.” In the tweet, O’Gorman shares an image of a map of Ireland with colours displaying commuter trends in 2011. O’Gorman posted the words ““Mmmmm. Map porn,” along with the image. A number of Twitter users highlighted that the word “MAP” is an acronym for “Minor Attracted Person.”

Social media users have also expressed concern about a 2016 tweet by O’Gorman where he appears to make a joke about masturbation.

“Err check your tone. Don't you know I wank highly in Wome?!” he wrote.

 

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