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Saturday 15 December 2018
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Churches threaten legal action on transgender protocol

THE TT Council of Evangelical Churches (TTCEC) has signalled its intention to “resist” provisions in the Gender Equality Protocol for Judicial Officers regarding transgender people.

The Judicial Education Institute of TT, on its webpage, says the protocol is a “practical guide geared towards fostering and improving gender-sensitive adjudication in Trinidad and Tobago.”

In a media release on Wednesday, the council said legal action or peaceful protests were in the offing if the protocol is enacted.

The council also objected to a guideline which stated "transgender persons must be referred to by the pronoun of their choice."

“The council denounces the stipulation that they should be allowed physical access to the court regardless of if they are dressed in accordance with personal views on how a person of their sex ought to dress.

“The council maintains that God created only two genders, as made clear in Genesis 1:27. Therefore, it is in no way supportive of the misuse of pronouns to satisfy the demands of this group when no such gender category exists.

“Furthermore, it is concerned that soon, this misuse of pronouns will spill over into our schools. It is only a matter of time at the rate that this issue is progressing.”

The council said the “pandering” of the judiciary to transgenders, which also includes the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual) community, is “disheartening.”

“Trinidad and Tobago has already taken a severe moral blow with the rewriting of sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act which legalised sex between consenting adults of the same gender, and now this?”

And quoting the Old Testament book of Proverbs 14:34 which stated that "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people," the council said this is another "nail in the coffin for this country.”

“We therefore urge that these stipulations in the protocol be trashed immediately.”

The council also sounded its disapproval of a statement by Sports Minister Shamfa Cudjoe who reportedly said sex education should be taught in schools.

“It is of the opinion, that because of the sensitive nature of the issue, it should be left in the hands of parents.”

“While the council acknowledges the concern behind Minister Cudjoe’s suggestion, it fears that to allow sex education in schools will open the door to increased sexual immorality through secular teachings on sexual behaviour.”

“It is not a good idea to allow children to learn about sex from “any and everybody,” for the teachings of those to whom this responsibility will be entrusted may not align with the Bible.”

The council also noted with concern the “current push” to normalise LGBTQIA behaviour in the country.

“The council is also concerned that part of sex education in schools, if introduced, would include the teaching of LGBTQIA behaviour, and the council’s stand on that has been abundantly clear from the inception. It also disapproves of that.”

“All things considered, the council is emphatic that absolutely no consideration should be given to Minister Cudjoe’s suggestion that sex education should be taught in schools, and that it is the responsibility of parents to teach their children about sex.”

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