A Christian couple who pulled their young children out of school because of the school's transgender policy is unwavering in their stance, despite increased persecution. The parents are now suing the school, which calls the parents "transphobic."
Lawyers for the couple will argue that the school is discriminating against them by implying that their Christian faith makes them transphobic. They also say England's Equality Act, which protects transgender rights, should not apply to people under age 18.
Nigel and Sally Rowe of Isle of Wight, England, removed their two young sons, ages six and eight, from the unidentified Church of England school because the school allows boys to wear dresses to school and otherwise dress as girls.
The parents say this policy causes psychological damage to the young cross-dressers as well as their classmates. Additionally, the Rowes report the school allows male students to dress as a boys some days and girls other days, which they contend leads to further confusion to all the children.
Speaking on BBC Radio, Nigel said adults should not validate a young child's transgender tendencies. "We feel that there's a political agenda that's sort-of driving and pushing this," he said, "Remember, we're talking children that are six years of age. A six-year-old is not really able to, doesn't have the mental capacity to, work out those kind of things. It's such a young age and we're concerned about that."
He further said, "We have a social understanding that we have boys and we have girls. There's a distinct difference between male and female. Not just what you wear but also within our DNA."
During an interview on itv's This Morning Sally said one of the reasons young children should not be encouraged to dress as the opposite gender is because the vast majority of kids eventually lose that desire. "Children change. They change all the time," she said, adding, "98 percent of children who have this gender identity, they're confused. 98 percent, once they go through the natural form of puberty, they're sorted. They're back. This is a massive thing for a child to change gender."
Although the Rowe's said children who identify as the opposite gender should be treated with love, the couple is enduring tremendous backlash. Most of the it centers on criticizing the parents as hateful, intolerant and bigoted.
Nevertheless, the Rowe's are standing firm in their beliefs. Not only that, they say they believe their viewpoints are shared by many other parents who are too afraid to speak out, fearing the same public retribution the Rowe's have suffered. "We just feel that a lot of people haven't voiced our opinion because they're just pointed out as being trans-phobic or hateful. Just like, 'You are hateful,' but we're not, we're not at all. We think there needs to be an open discussion about it without being really pushed down."