Credit: Houses of the Oireachtas

Senator “horrified” by long-term impact of Gender Recognition Bill

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has questioned whether Ireland has gone “stark raving mad” over a series of government workshops on gender pronouns, adding that he is “horrified” by the long-term effect of the Gender Recognition bill which he voted for in 2015.

This week the Irish Times published an article explaining how Irish civil servants have been attending “interactive pronoun workshops” to help them “get to grips with evolving LGBTQ+ terminology, including understanding pronouns.”

As part of gender ideology, many trans-identified individuals choose to select their own preferred pronouns, such as “he/him,” “she/her” and even “they/them” for non-binary individuals who identify as neither male nor female. Some use mixed pronouns, such as “he/them” or “she/him.” In addition, some individuals choose to use so-called “neo-pronouns,” such as “xe/xir” and “ze/zir,” which the HSE recognises.

Reacting to the Irish Times story, Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell asked: “Has the entire country gone stark raving mad?”

“We passed the Gender Recognition Bill. I fully supported it. I never expected to be handed a sheet defining some 58 genders.”

The Senator added: “Will history show that Enoch Burke may have had a point?”

Asked by Gript if he felt gender ideology had gone too far, Craughwell replied that he believes “it has gone way beyond.”

“The latent effect of the Gender Recognition Bill, which I fully supported during its passage through Seanad Éireann, now horrifies me,” he said, claiming that he supported it initially out of “compassion.”

The Gender Recognition Act, which was passed in 2015, is a controversial Irish law which states that any individual in receipt of a Gender Recognition Certificate is considered the gender of their choice under Irish law. This has had far-reaching consequences and been the subject of intense debate in recent years.

“I am, I believe, a fairly conservative man,” continued Craughwell.

“I found it difficult to get my head around gender transition, but having met some who had been through the transition process, I felt out of compassion I should support the Bill.”

However, he added: “The legislation has been abused and twisted beyond anything I could ever have imagined.”

He referred specifically to instances of violent biological males being put into female prisons – a widely unforeseen consequence of the Bill in 2015.

“Male sex offenders, when caught and brought before the courts, subsequently identifying as female is unbelievable, and makes a mockery of those decent people who convinced me to support the Bill,” he said.

“I believe that it’s not too late to bring the Bill back before the Oireachtas and repeal certain aspects of it.”

He added that the upcoming Hate Speech Bill has also re-ignited the conversation around how Irish law perceives gender identity.

“The forthcoming Hate Speech Bill has raised many questions, not least, that it does not define HATE,” he said.

“This Bill has brought the gender issue back into sharp focus. I have two documents defining in one case 58 gender types and the other 72. Frankly, it is time to get real.

Gript asked Craughwell for his take on Ireland’s national curriculum body discouraging teachers from using the phrase “boys and girls,” and instead to seek a more gender neutral alternative, as previously reported.

“Is this really what we want for our children?” he asked.

“Should parents be looking at their child wondering what gender they may select in the future? Do we really want discussions with children on these issues? Surely, the time to discuss such issues is when the child asks for help.”

In July, Gript revealed that Irish civil servants are being asked to use their own preferred gender pronouns in their email signatures, even if they’re not transgender, and to wear Pride colours “on their person” all year round, even after Pride Month has ended.

In May of this year, this publication reported on how an official HSE guide for healthcare workers has urged the use of these “xir” and “ze” pronouns in healthcare settings if an individual requests it.

“Honouring a person’s name and pronouns shows respect and is a basic acknowledgement of the person’s identity,” the document read.

Elsewhere, the HSE has urged staff to wear badges with their own gender pronouns in the workplace.

They list a number of gender identities, including (but not limited to) “gender-fluidity, gender-queer, bi-gender, two-spirit, third gender, agender and neutrois.”

In addition to this, Dublin Bus is allowing biologically-male transgender staff to use women’s bathrooms and changing rooms if that staff member identifies as a woman.


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