The British Columbia Court of Appeal has overturned a previous order handed down by a lower court limiting the speech rights of a father objecting to his child's transgender identity.
This appeal is part of an ongoing court case between the divorced parents of their male-identifying but biologically female teenage daughter. The mother in the case supports both social transition and hormonal treatments for the girl while the father does not.
Or, as described by Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the case involves “a father who is deeply concerned with his minor female-born child undergoing controversial gender transition treatments.”
In May of last year, a court ruled the father's “misgendering” of his child — that is, referring to his daughter as a girl and not a boy — is considered “family violence” and ordered him to stop using female pronouns in reference to his daughter.
In a judgement issued by the BC Court of Appeal on January 10, 2020, the previous order defining “misgendering” as “family violence” was overturned:
“It is not our intention to minimize in any way the pain that [the daughter] feels due to his father’s refusal to accept his decision to identify as male and proceed with hormone treatment. It is also not our intention to condone [the father]’s conduct in refusing to engage with the medical professionals responsible for [his daughter]’s care and refusing to engage in a more constructive way to communicate his views to [his daughter].
 However, [the father] is entitled to his views and he is entitled to communicate those views to [the daughter]. As difficult as this is, this difference of opinion alone cannot justify a finding of family violence.”
That is, while the father may be hurting the feelings of his teenaged daughter by refusing to accept her male identity, hurt feelings cannot be construed as “family violence” and are therefore not a strong enough reason to restrict the father's speech.
In June of last year, Rebel News received a lawyer's letter requesting the removal of an interview “misgendering” the teenager.