Highlights of AFT Presentation to the Comité des sages

David Rand

Publication Date: 2024-05-26

The mandate of the Comité des sages (Committee of Experts) is to advise the Quebec government on the subject of so-called “gender identity.” Atheist Freethinkers prepared a brief (in French) on that issue which we presented to the Comité des sages on 21st May 2024. Below are some salient points from that presentation, including a few quotations from the brief.

  • For us, Atheist Freethinkers, it is “of the utmost importance that the benchmarks which guide the definition of rules and laws in a pluralistic society be exclusively of an objective nature, verifiable by everyone and demonstrable if necessary, as is the case in science. »
  • We respect everyone’s rights and “we unreservedly condemn any form of discrimination, pressure, intimidation or violence directed towards persons.”
  • We oppose any conflation of the terms “sex” and “gender.” Sex is an objective biological binary reality. Gender, however, is a vague, subjective concept. They must not be confused with each other.
  • The ideology known as “gender theory” or “gender identity,” which denies the binary nature of sex—seeking to impose this denial on society, by alleging that sex “is rather on a continuum and is assigned arbitrarily at birth”—must be dismissed as “pure misinformation.” Sex is determined at fertilization and observed at birth. Schools must stop propagating this ideology, which is as groundless as “religious beliefs or flat Earth theory.”
  • “Campaigns of intellectual intimidation against anyone who does not accept gender theory or who ‘misgenders’ a person” are unacceptable.” Even several scientific institutions and media have unfortunately, and in a cowardly manner, capitulated to such intimidation. This ideological capture is very dangerous, because it creates confusion among the public and brings discredit to those institutions and media. Who can the public trust if even scientists allow themselves to be manipulated by ideologues?
  • “Sexual orientation and gender identity are two completely distinct phenomena which should not, in any way, be conflated. The first has an objective and clear definition, while the second is a vague and subjective concept.”
  • Two laws, one Canadian, the other in Quebec, prohibit conversion therapy, but make this unacceptable conflation between sexual orientation and gender identity. We fully support the ban on therapies that claim to change sexual orientation. But in the case of gender identity, conversion therapies cannot even exist because that identity has no objective reality. Thus, these laws constitute serious threats, both to medical care (because doctors may find themselves in an illegal situation for the simple act of providing reasonable advice to a patient), and to freedom of expression. These laws must be amended to remove any reference to gender identity.
  • Self-identification, whereby an individual can simply declare himself or herself to be of the opposite sex and be legally recognized as such, is a disaster and an open door to abuse.
  • Some clinical studies suggest that many adolescents who presented symptoms of gender dysphoria and received psychotherapy—but without medical interventions such as puberty blockers, hormones or surgery—grow up to become gay adults without dysphoria. Thus, prematurely encouraging an adolescent to transition could, in fact, amount to homophobic conversion therapy.
  • We are relieved to learn that several European countries have recently started to question so-called “gender-affirming care” whose scientific justification is weak. We particularly welcome the Cass report in the United Kingdom and the very recent decision in England to ban the teaching of gender identity in schools.
  • For official documents, the sex marker must be M or F and nothing else. In any case, this marker must not be the free choice of the person for whom the document is issued.
  • Gender theory is a pseudoscientific ideology whose incoherence is obvious. If sex is purely a social construct, thus arbitrary, without its binary definition, then men, women, homosexuals, lesbians and even trans persons no longer have clear definitions. Indeed, if sex is on a continuum, what does it mean to transition from male to female or from female to male? Even trans persons are rendered “invisible” by anti-binary ideology.

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