News from Europe

UK parents could face prosecution for refusing to use their children’s pronouns

The New Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales has published a new Trans Equality Statement that defines forms of abuse towards trans victims, including "withholding money for transitioning", "refusing to use their preferred name or pronoun" or "Body shaming or criticising the victim for not being 'a real man/woman' if they have not undergone reassignment surgery."


It also states that these actions can be considered as domestic abuse by family members and partners. Therefore, the CPS guidance makes parents vulnerable to prosecution, if they do not agree with transgender children.

Jeremiah Igunnubole, former prosecutor, and legal counsel for ADF UK, commented this guidance with the following statement: “The revised CPS guidance puts the police force in the intensely difficult and inappropriate position of making politicised judgements against parents. Parents who “withhold money for transition” or “refuse to use preferred pronouns” for their children are now open to prosecution for abuse.

This guidance will only serve to confuse prosecutors and the public. The guidance fails to acknowledge the fact that there is no legal obligation for anyone to use the “preferred pronouns” of any other person. Furthermore, the fact that parents have the primary responsibility for the development and upbringing of their children is protected in international law.

This is the latest misstep in a trend towards guidance which fails to give adequate weight to fundamental freedoms of speech, of conscience, of religion and more.

We urge the CPS to reverse this clampdown on parental primacy and the freedom of families to navigate these issues in the way they consider most appropriate. ADF UK stands ready to defend the rights of parents and families to speak and act in accordance with their conscience and in their children’s interests.“


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