Canada's Ontario province has passed legislation that allows the government to seize children from families that refuse to accept their child's chosen "gender identity" or "gender expression."
It requires child protection, foster, adoption service providers, and judges to take into account and respect a child's "race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression."
"I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently," Minister of Child and Family Services Michael Coteau, who introduced the bill, was quoted as saying. "If it's abuse, and if it's within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops."
The bill replaces the Child and Family Services Act, or Bill 28, which governs child protection, foster care and adoption services.
Bill 28 stated that the parent of a child in care retains the right "to direct the child's education and religious upbringing." However, the new law amends it thus: "to direct the child or young person's education and upbringing, in accordance with the child's or young person's creed, community identity and cultural identity."
Irwin Elman, Ontario's provincial advocate for children and youth, said in a statement, "I believe that this new Act, in its principles, represents a paradigm shift for the province with its commitment to the participation of children and youth in every decision that affects them, the creation of a child-centered system of service, and commitment to anti-racism and children's rights."
Jack Fonseca, senior political strategist for Campaign Life Coalition, disagrees, and was quoted as saying, "With the passage of Bill 89, we've entered an era of totalitarian power by the state, such as never witnessed before in Canada's history. Make no mistake, Bill 89 is a grave threat to Christians and all people of faith who have children, or who hope to grow their family through adoption."
In April, a Christian couple filed a lawsuit against Hamilton Children's Aid Society for removing two foster children from their home because they refused to lie to the girls by saying that the Easter bunny is real.
"We have a no-lying policy," Derek Baars, one of the foster parents, said at the time, pointing out that a child support worker insisted that he and his wife, Frances Baars, tell the two girls in their care, aged 3 and 4, the Easter bunny is real. "We explained to the agency that we are not prepared to tell the children a lie. If the children asked, we would not lie to them, but we wouldn't bring it up ourselves."
The eligibility of the Baars, members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, was canceled and the children were taken away. The CAS worker, who insisted that the Baars teach the kids that the Easter bunny is genuine, told them that the Easter bunny was an important part of Canadian culture.