Christian humanitarian and evangelist Franklin Graham says the U.S. should be “on guard” after lawmakers in Canada’s largest province passed a law that pits Christian parents against LGBTQ interests.
Southern Baptist spokesman Dr. Russell Moore calls the law “alarming” and says that all people, not just Christians, should be concerned.
“Can you imagine having the government take your child away from you if the children decided they felt like switching their gender identity and you disagreed?” Graham said on Facebook. He called the law “totalitarian and oppressive” and said it goes against science, Scripture and common sense.
Moore told CBN News that the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission believes that new law is ridiculous. “A state that can use the coercion over parents of teaching their children moral formation of principles is a state that has overstepped all of its bounds,” he said.
The Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, also known as Bill 89, replaces Ontario’s previous law dealing with child protection, foster care and adoption. It redefines the “best interests of the child” to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Dr. Mark Yarhouse, a leading researcher on gender identity at Regent University’s Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity, says 75 percent of children struggling with gender identity tend to resolve their confusion by late adolescence. Different studies show that struggle, often known as gender dsyphoria, can affect one in 215 or one in 300, compared to gay and lesbians who make up 2-3 percent of the population.
Tanya Granic Allen, a leading Ontario opponent of the bill and President of Parents as First Educators, says the province could decide that parents are not seeking their child’s best interests if they refuse a surgical intervention or hormone therapy for a girl or boy struggling with confusion about their gender.
Such a refusal could be considered to cause emotional or physical harm to a child and give the government the rationale needed to remove the child from the home. Granic Allen says the bill affirms the belief that children belong more to the state than to their parents.
“They have it within their law now that they could go in and take your child away because you are not supporting the best interest of your child,” she said.
Typically, Ontario removes children from their homes because of violence in the family, neglect or physical abuse.
Granic Allen told CBN News that Christian foster parents are also very concerned about the law because of their biblical views on sexuality and gender.
Allen says that some Christian foster parents have contacted her, telling her that they believe the government will block them from raising children in their homes. They “feel they’ve been targeted, black-listed and won’t get more kids,” said Allen.
She says that Christian foster parents can now expect the province to question their views on sexual orientation and gender identity. “We’re seeing some very good Christian homes being black marked and probably they won’t have any more foster kids come their way because they’ve been targeted now,” she said.
More than 7,000 children in Ontario live in foster care homes.
Granic Allen said she’s disappointed that more clergy in Ontario didn’t speak out against the bill. She considers it a victory, however, that the legislation didn’t pass unanimously. Twenty-three lawmakers voted against it and thousands of parents lobbied the Ontario parliament against it, she said.
Many analysts consider Premier Kathleen Wynne, the head of the Ontario government, to be the driving force behind the new law. She’s an outspoken lesbian and also the former Ontario minister of education.
Granic Allen says that Christian parents must now, more than ever, teach their children Christian morals at home and prepare for similar legislation at the federal level in Canada and also in the U.S.
“The time to play the moderate card or the quiet Christian card is no longer,” she said, “you’re either on one side or the other.”