to think this is not really a transgender issue so much as a batshit religion issue(11 Posts)
The Independent have gone with a clickbait headline
"Court bans children from seeing transgender parent because it is 'incompatible' with their Ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith"
However the actual judgment is more focused on the extreme views of the parents' religious community.
This is the judgment:
Rather long judgement, my summary:
Father and mother Charedi (ultra-Orthodox Jews who do everything the Rabbi tell them and are not allowed contact with outside world) in North Manchester. Married via arranged marriage since 2001, now aged in 30s so presumably young at marriage. 4 kids. Father leaves home after transgendering, remains Orthodox Jew, although obviously not quite so Orthodox as previously.
School says that sex change is not compatible with the school's strict religious ethos in particular that they do not discuss homosexuality at all.
A foster parent, called in evidence by the mother in order to say 'if you allow children to contact transgender father, they will be utterly ostracised', offered two examples in support of this:
* a 15-year-old girl she had fostered who had been sexually abused was ostracised from the community and lost all of her friends, as they wanted to shield their own children from talk of sexual abuse. She changed schools as a result.
* a 14-year-old girl abused by her family and wider community since the age of 11. Similarly ostracised
Foster carer says that those involved are beyond law, social services, etc., and they will 'find their way around it' in order to ostracise people violating their norms. [no word if the sexual abusers are ostracised]
The oldest son's headteacher said a parent who takes their children to the cinema, or 'reads the newspapers around them' would not be offered a place at the school, and if a child with any such inappropriate influences was at the school they would be encouraged by the school to leave to avoid influencing the other children.
The judge met the oldest son in person, and son says
"if he saw his father, it would affect him in a bad way. He would get bullied and lose his friends. His brothers and sisters didn’t know what their father had done and would not know what to do or think – it would affect their lives. If their mother remarried, they could have a father"
"He said that his mother was anxious for all the children’s futures. He did not feel proud of his father. He had told him confusing things. He (the father) had made his decision and had to go through with it, it wouldn’t affect his life as much as the children’'s"
Judge said he was inclined based on the description of the community as 'warm, close and supportive' NOT to believe dire predictions about ostracism of children - however based on examples from foster parent, meeting son, the consensus from father, Rabbi, and others - he concluded that the religious community was in fact unwavering in its principles, and that there could therefore be no contact as it WOULD, in point of fact, lead to the children suffering greater harm (through ostracism from community, school, etc.) than the benefit (contact with father).
The decision does not appear unreasonable in law, in that the family courts are concerned about the welfare of the children, which they have decided is best continuing within the framework of their fanatical sect, rather than outside it. The best interests of either parent is not a concern for the court, nor whether the father's sexuality is protected by law.
AIBU however to think that the Independent have distorted the story, saying "Court bans children from seeing transgender parent because it is 'incompatible' with their Ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith"
The actual judgment does not make that conclusion at all, but rather concludes
"Court bans children from seeing transgender parent because their Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect would ostracise them"
AIBU to see this as deliberate anti-judge shit-stirring by the Independent, when the problem here is NOT with the judge but with the fanatical releigious sect?
Yeah, I agree with you. This sect sounds unhealthy, though, I think it would best for the children to be completely moved away from it.
Changing sex is not possible; the school would be opposed to his transgenderism, not to "sex change".
Gender reassignment surgery, whatever you want to call it - it's down to this line
"[A man] with injured testicles or whose member is cut, may not enter the assembly of the Lord."
It's a right old pickle that's what it is
If the kids see their dad they might lose their stability
If they don't see their dad they lose a father
Lose lose - I really don't envy the judge who had to
Make a decision here - not easy
I wonder if the children will have any contact ?
I agree, stop. It's clear from the judgment that there were various problems from the start of the marriage (allegations of abuse, DV, etc), which aren't confined to any religion. Very tough call....
It appears that one of the children, presumably the 8-year-old girl twin in the judgment (I guess her twin brother is at a different school), has been subject to a shunning order by her school.
"Students at the school wrote the girl a letter telling her that if they see her they must ignore her, but “that they would always love her and that they would pray for her,” according to the report."
That's a funny one. I know that community very well and they're not bad people but they really sincerely believe in what they do and can't accept going against it in any way. Despite that it genuinely is a very happy and caring community otherwise. Even just a man in that community deciding he wanted to wear a suit or tshirt and jeans would lead to ostracism, so it's not entirely as straight forward as just being a transgender issue.
I guess the problem is that this family has split and one member is now living in a way which is unacceptable to the rest of the community. So by dint of that, that member of the family is basically insisting that because of something they have chosen to do, the rest of the family should lose the only home and community and friends they've ever had. We might not like the reasoning behind that communities decision, but they would still do it. So the question isn't really a matter of the right or wrongs of the communities reaction, but whether the father has the right to force a situation where the entire family must leave that community to facilitate his wishes. I'm inclined to believe that the judge was right in this case.
I saw a similar thing on a forum about another faith, it was rather amusing in a not so amusing way. These people were mostly American so were hardcore. This guy had a kid with a person who had a different set of beliefs, he was moaning how he bought religious iconography that he wanted in the Mum's house. The Mum wasn't too hot on having a dedicated altar for a 2 year old in her house. Clashed with her theme and wasn't something that meant anything to her.
Anyway the Dad was ranting how he felt he had the right to have the child on a given day, on this day they would worship. But ideally he wanted his daughter to pray every day, be involved in 'his' faith every day. Mum said choice would be better.
He called the Mum every name you could think of, he justified an episode of domestic violence and emotional abuse. Other posters were in support of this, totally astounding. He wanted custody on the grounds he could make his daughter a hardcore Christian. But they conceived out of wedlock, which went against these holier than thou principles he was spouting. The Americans were saying he was tempted by the devil and it wasn't his fault we all have moments of weakness.
My rhetoric was if you want to have a child and have certainty they would be raised in a certain manner, meet someone with similar beliefs. Don't expect someone else to change just because that's what you want.
They weren't impressed by this, he didn't have to take any ownership, it was the devil. People were advocating reporting her to the US social services, getting the child removed, purely on the basis the mother wasn't a hardcore Christian. They even victim blamed her, if she had been submissive he wouldn't have attacked her. Total madness.
I personally feel that religion should not be a deciding factor when it comes to custody. It should not be a reason that a adult is granted custody, because they have better moral beliefs, plus the alternative party doesn't comply with a belief system.
This applies to all religions, if you have intercourse with someone who you know doesn't have the same beliefs, you can't force them to comply with your wishes, just because. Whether a casual relationship, serious relationship, marriage. Children can be guided, but not forced. It's shocking that the children will see this as deviancy. EG. Your Mother is the devil because she doesn't fully live the life I believe she should. My son is lost to me because he's having relations with a girl who isn't the same as us. It's total madness.
People go on about Muslim extremists, but rarely consider the same in other faiths, where hatred is seen as acceptable because it goes against doctrine.
This applies to all religions, if you have intercourse with someone who you know doesn't have the same beliefs, you can't force them to comply with your wishes, just because.
But as far as she knew he shared the same beliefs as her and she had children with him in the understanding they shared those beliefs and would bring them up in accordance with them.
He is actually the one who has suddenly decided to foist a whole set of beliefs he knows she doesn't share on her, not the other way around.
And both what he believes about transgenderism and her beliefs about religion are both philosophies and belief systems. Just because one is currently trendier than the other doesn't mean that trendiness means it gets automatic precedence.
There has been so much publicity about this case, that I'm sure the father has already ruined his children's lives here. I do not agree in the slightest with the community's views or the way they are already behaving, but this man chose to have children and to bring them up in this community. He has then chosen to pursue another path, knowing the consequences for his family. I don't think that can be anything other than selfish. He was clearly in a terrible position. His choices were to deny his identity and live a lie or ruin his children's lives. Both terrible options. But I know which one I would have chosen, as a parent. Certainly at least until they were all adults and had a chance to distance themselves from him if they chose to.
Sounds like the children are being brought up in a cult. God help them (excuse the pun) if in future they don't toe the line, sounds like it doesn't take much for this "warm, supportive community" to turn nasty.
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