In March 2021 GenderGP submitted concerns to the Charity Commission that registered UK charity The Christian Institute has been promoting discrimination.
The Christian Institute has distributed materials claiming that transgender people are ‘in defiance of their creator’, calling on Christians to misgender transgender people and try and keep them from accessing healthcare, as well as fighting against a conversion therapy ban in the UK – GenderGP
Within a month of our submission we received a reply from The Charity Commission asking for us to provide scanned copies of the evidence we had in our possession by the 30th of April. We swiftly provided the requested documentation.
Included in our evidence were various examples of informational literature that the Christian Institute distributes and makes available on its website.
One such document, a dedicated information leaflet entitled ‘Transexualism’ – a word that to our knowledge is not used by any organisation or professionals working to positively help or support trans and gender diverse people – contains several poorly evidenced and easily debunked claims, including:
‘Sex change surgery does not resolve the underlying conflicts felt by people with gender dysphoria’ – a significant number of studies contradict this statement. In April 2021 the American Medical Association stated that ‘Every major medical association in the United States recognizes the medical necessity of transition-related care for improving the physical and mental health of transgender people’
‘Therapy should not be aimed at changing healthy bodies to match people’s wishes, but rather at helping people accept the body they were born with does not resolve the underlying conflicts felt by people with gender dysphoria’ – demonstrating an ideology otherwise and commonly known as so-called Conversion Therapy, a practise completely banned in Brazil, Ecuador, Germany and Malta. United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IESOGI) has called for a global ban of conversion therapy.
‘When a person is living as a member of the opposite sex, it is often obvious when meeting them. We are confronted by their sin straight away’ – a statement calling trans and gender diverse people as sinful for being Transgender
‘Using a female pronoun for a man living as a woman is both untrue and likely to be perceived by him as an endorsement’ – a willful mischaracterisation and misgendering of trans women and girls and an example of discrimination that Equality Act 2010 aims to prohibit
Alberta Health Services (AHS), Canada’s largest, fully-integrated health system states that ‘Transgenderism’ is a term that should not be used as it’s often a term used by anti‐transgender activists to dehumanise transgender people and reduce who they are to a “condition”
In a similar document, ‘The transgender craze’, the Christian Institute focuses on promoting the belief that the ‘out of the blue’ existence of a young trans person is the result of a social contagion, of a confused child who has been persuaded to be trans due to inclusive and intersectional LGBT+ education in schools and pressure from their peers and society at large.
They disingenuously refer to this as Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), a pseudoscientific term based on a single study that has been widely criticised, debunked, and its methodology discredited – including in peer reviewed studies. The premise of RODG is highly offensive to trans people and is used as a tool by individuals and groups that seek to deny young trans and questioning people their agency to determine their identity as they understand it to be – The World Professional Association for Transgender Health states ‘The term ‘rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD)’ is not a medical entity recognised by any major professional association’
This is not the first time that a complaint has been made against the Christian Institute. In 2001 the Charity Commission criticised the organisation for publishing a 100-page report, Homosexuality and Young People (1998) in which they argued against reforming anti-homosexual law. They were also asked to be clearer about their status as a religious organisation rather than a political one, which resulted in them dropping the slogan ‘influencing public policy’ from their literature and website.
Despite this, they continue to publish content and opinions about transgender and gender diverse people in a dedicated Transgender Ideology section of their website.
We maintain that the materials the Christian Institute creates and distributes use religious freedom as an excuse to discriminate against a group protected under the Equality Act 2010. This is especially distressing for LGBTQ+ people of faith and is a serious failure to comply with the regulations the Charities commission has set out for registered charities.
We remain concerned that continued association with an organisation that so openly promotes discrimination will damage public confidence in the Commission’s ability to perform as a regulator, and encourage further organisations to flout the regulations.
Subject to their review of our submitted evidence, we would be more than happy to speak to the commission in more detail about our complaint, and the discrimination faced by transgender people at the hands of institutions the likes of the Christian Institute.