Page 10 | Freddy McConnell appeal today (Transman who wants to be registered as their child's father) *Title edited by MNHQ*

(524 Posts)
MrsSnippyPants Wed 04-Mar-20 14:32:50

Haven't seen anything about this and it just popped up on Sky News. Hearing continues tomorrow

Newspaper report here

OP’s posts: |
TinselAngel Thu 05-Mar-20 19:22:09

* Freddy is a wedge. Let’s not alone Freddy to lever the door so that transwidows have to have a second mother retrospectively added to their children’s birth certificates.*

So many times this ^^

I can't express the visceral fury I feel at the idea of my title "mother" being usurped.

teawamutu Thu 05-Mar-20 19:38:58

May have missed on thread, but do we know when the judgment's due?

Goosefoot Thu 05-Mar-20 19:40:31

I don’t know enough about the court process to understand how this even gets to court

It's a rights claim, isn't it? We're in a time when there have been a number of rights claims that have argued that legal terms and definitions can't be applied in a way that discriminates by sex. So to me it's not a surprise that this has come up. As soon as SSM was being argued as a rights issue in that way, it was probably going to happen for other terms that are differentiated by sex. What will be interesting is whether they can maintain a differentiation or not.

R0wantrees Thu 05-Mar-20 19:45:28

This case is linked to all of the previous legislative changes secured by trans rights activists.

They predate same-sex marriage rights.

TimeMarchesOnNeverEnding Thu 05-Mar-20 19:59:55

Fuck this shit. Don't birth a bloody child if you don't want to be a mother.

ReinstateLangCleg Thu 05-Mar-20 20:05:34

From Stephen Whittle on the thread R0 so kindly linked:

"So I am asking, if out of politeness that you refer to me (and my mates who let me write up their answers) as a trans man. It's only words , and it won't harm you, but to not do so might harm me - or worse, close down any opportunity for conversation about the serious matters of the victimisation of children and women."

Is it really only words?

They're both so important that transactivists tell me what I must say, or else they won't even speak with me, but at the same time so meaningless that their actual definitions shouldn't be of concern at all.

If you're saying it will harm you if I use the wrong words, then why doesn't the same logic apply to words used to describe me?

Also, it does hurt my brain quite a lot to have to use compelled words and modify my speech.

Mother means something.

As usual, I agree with Barracker and other posters.

The facts of this whole case, especially the timeline, are disturbing.


Goosefoot Thu 05-Mar-20 20:11:28

They predate same-sex marriage rights.

It all works in the same direction, and SSM has huge wide public support. It did a lot to convince regular people that you cannot apply legal definitions with reference to sex and to cement this idea as a principle, not just some weird legal fiction, and that goes some way to diffusing people's reaction to something like birth certificate questions.

It would always have been better IMO to pursue SSM as a pragmatic change.

R0wantrees Thu 05-Mar-20 20:19:35

This is the legal commentary from the law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper’s who acted pro bono for the AIRE Centre, a legal charity specialising in human rights that was given permission to intervene in the initial case.
(I think from the perspective of the HR of the child)

The President appropriately acknowledged the importance of this case as the first to determine this issue in the UK courts and within a changing legislative landscape on gender identity and legal parentage, and particularly in relation to a wider public policy debate on children born to transgender parents. Moreover, the tone of the judgment is quite fair and tactful in consideration of an imperfect factual situation. The President considered the general validity of ruling and was quite tactful in his discussion of the particulars, by avoiding giving undue weight to troubling details such as Mr McConnell’s lack of disclosure about his fertility treatment to the G R Panel during the hearing about gender acquisition, (particularly as neither party challenged the validity of the GR certificate, para 45) as well as his co-operation in the production of a documentary about his pregnancy (para 46). Instead he searched for higher level policy implications rather than adopting a case by case approach for such family situations.

A significant contribution of this judgment is its careful consideration of language regarding modern developments in fertility methods and family structures. In tracing the jurisprudence on such issues, the court helpfully provides an overview of the common law usage of parental terminology ‘mother’ and ‘father’. For example, within the context of certain fertility methods, the law has begun to distinguish between ‘genetic’ mother and ‘carrying’ or ‘gestational’ mother. The exposition of the statutory framework relating to assisted reproduction demonstrates that there is, at the least, a concerning lack of clarity in the terminology used therein (paras 19-26) and “there would seem to be a pressing need for Government and Parliament to address square-on the question of the status of a trans-male who has become pregnant and given birth to a child” (para 125).

In the present case, the claimant submitted that he was a ‘male parent’ and therefore the baby’s ‘father’ (para 63). The Government however did not agree that this was the correct term, arguing that “the person’s biological role in the process of conception, pregnancy, and birth” is what is reflected in the term mother. The court agreed with the Government’s reasoning and concluded at para 271 that “there is a material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent” and that the biological/gestational parental role is separate from the social/psychological/emotional role. It explained that, as a matter of law, the term ‘mother’ is free-standing and separate from consideration of legal gender, thus in law there can be male mothers and female fathers (para 251). This is interesting language from a court, as although the terms ‘male mother’ and ‘female father’ have been used by journalists, and appear in at least one medical dictionary[1], as far as we are aware this is the first time these terms have been used judicially." (continues)

R0wantrees Thu 05-Mar-20 20:23:41

Lined to the legal commentary above

2012 Daily Mail
'Britain's first male mum speaks: My mother told me I'd be a good mummy. I said, 'No, I'll be a good daddy'

The implications of a man giving birth after legally changing his gender is complicated in terms of producing a birth certificate for the child and experts disagree on the correct way to proceed. It is not known what decision was made in Bob's case.

According to the law, the mother is the woman – rather than person – who carried the child during pregnancy.

One family lawyer said it was likely a registrar would consider Bob to be the child's mother despite officially being recognised as male.

The registrar could use a birth certificate which referred to 'parents' rather than the traditional 'mother' and 'father' category, such as those used in gay and lesbian cases.

But an academic expert in transgender affairs concluded that after legally changing sex, Bob would be listed as the child's father because of 'a legal view about the best interests of children and the preservation of an existing gendered parental relationship'.

I wonder if that 'academic expert in transgender affairs' was Stephen Whittle? hmm

ReinstateLangCleg Thu 05-Mar-20 20:48:47

As an aside on same sex marriage:

In the UK the GRA came into being in 2004.

As I understand it, part of the reason for its creation was to circumvent the problem of same sex marriage, i.e. a male-who-identified-as-a-woman and a male wanted to be married, but they couldn't, so they needed a legal mechanism by which to turn someone's status from one sex to the other. They needed a legal fiction so that they would be classed as "heterosexual" and therefore wed.

Same sex marriage in the UK only began in 2014.

The case being discussed has nothing to do with same sex marriage, but the Gender Recognition Act, which came a whole decade earlier.

Don't underestimate the amount of work transactivism has done, often with little public attention, separate to lesbian, bisexual and gay rights.

ReinstateLangCleg Thu 05-Mar-20 20:49:47

I wonder if that 'academic expert in transgender affairs' was Stephen Whittle?


R0wantrees Thu 05-Mar-20 21:00:04

Don't underestimate the amount of work transactivism has done, often with little public attention, separate to lesbian, bisexual and gay rights.

Important thread:

OhHolyJesus Thu 05-Mar-20 21:03:36

I laughed at the photo caption "22 months pregnant" that's a modern miracle!

Also this person had three children "as a man", so did the most female thing you could do not once, not twice but three times.

How you'd manage that with gender dysphoria?

Lordfrontpaw Thu 05-Mar-20 21:04:42

22 months - what an elephant baby?

WrathofFaeKlopp Thu 05-Mar-20 21:39:48

According to the law, the mother is the woman – rather than person – who carried the child during pregnancy

This acknowledges the mother is the woman who carried the child during pregnancy.
Why would anyone say 'person' in this context?

I wonder if the legal term could or should have been,
"The mother is the 'female' who carried the child during the pregnancy".
This is biologically accurate.

Now I'm wondering if this terminology had been deliberately decided upon to allow medical advances in surrogacy and fertility to be accepted through the courts without too much (ethical) fuss.

Beansandcoffee Thu 05-Mar-20 21:42:21

Im just renewing my sons passport. It has asked for parent details. It says mother/parent 1 and father/parent 2.

What does this mean?

Barracker Thu 05-Mar-20 21:53:01

Jeez. The insanity that by necessity follows after you decide the law will 'recognise' a female person as 'male', when they are simply...not.

Every aspect of sexed existence, every reference to female or male, girl, boy, woman, man, mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother, they're all references to our binary, sexed bodies. Each one is ultimately a reference to reproductive biology. They all relate to one another, they all reference sex.

You detach one single reference, and all the others must fall too, or else they conflict.

I'm pretty jaded now. There's little that would surprise me. Sports, prisons, refuges, schools. I expect no end of nonsense. But the one thing that never stops shocking me is that a law was created in the first place that took the word female, which provided recognition of the entire female sex, away from them and created a new, mixed sex, indefinable 'psyche' category that female would mean from that day on. I cannot fully comprehend the enormity of legally redefining all females so that men could be 'recognised' as females. That was the day we failed the female sex, comprehensively, utterly.

I'll never get over it, even when it's repealed, and I'm telling my great grandchildren about the insanity of the early 21st century.

"They literally stopped recognising every actual single woman and girl, every female person. And they told us that we were now all an identity instead of a sex, a psychology instead of a physiology. That was what female now meant. So that men could say they were women. And they did, hundreds of thousands of them did. There was no single word for actual females. We weren't allowed one. Our word was reallocated to men. We had to talk about ourselves as people with cervixes, or menstruators, and we had to agree that biology wasn't the real difference between the sexes, identity was. One by one, every reference to biological sex was replaced in every law with references to identity, until the law had erased any connection with female biology from pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood. Everything became something that applied to both men and women because it was forbidden to have real references to sex.
Stating that only females were women was enough to lose your job, or even be charged with a crime. Failing to agree with a man that he was a woman was enough to be ostracised, censored or threatened with legal action. Men took over women's sports, institutions, groups. Men represented us in every level of society, calling themselves women. There were no words to distinguish ourselves from these men. Everyone could see the female sex were becoming unspeakable people, unspoken of. You weren't allowed to acknowledge our separate existence from male people. Men committed crimes and society said women did it. You could never escape a man because he could follow you into any public space by identifying as female. People were very, very afraid to tell the truth.
Many hundreds of children lost their reproductive organs trying to become the other sex. It was a very dark time."

ListeningQuietly Thu 05-Mar-20 21:58:33

I feel incredibly sorry for that child.

DidoLamenting Thu 05-Mar-20 21:59:35

Im just renewing my sons passport. It has asked for parent details. It says mother/parent 1 and father/parent 2

What does this mean?

Surely that's just acknowledging that whilst the majority of children will have a mother and a father as parents there are lesbian and gay couples who have children?

Thingybob Thu 05-Mar-20 22:03:36

Thank-you for that summary of the brave new world we are entering Barracker, it's terrifying when set out like that.

ReinstateLangCleg Thu 05-Mar-20 22:08:45

I'll never get over it, even when it's repealed, and I'm telling my great grandchildren about the insanity of the early 21st century.

Me neither.

I keep thinking that if I live to see the day I am telling younger people about this time and they ask me if this REALLY happened, if people in power REALLY said they believed the ideology, were people REALLY that confused or afraid of questioning these ideas? Basic fundamental facts you can see with your own eyes, the difference between women and men, physical, tangible, real, were being denied in LAW?

And one of the only places women could talk about what was happening was on a parenting forum?

Biological sex?


I'll just nod.

And say it was even more bizarre than they can imagine.

Michelleoftheresistance Thu 05-Mar-20 22:14:00

However when it was finally repealed and sanity returned, there were active women's rights organisations and women had become accustomed to organising and political activism on a scale not seen in nearly a century, and had seen very clearly indeed the misogyny of the UK and the problem with male dominated government.

And like Stonewall, these organisations repurposed themselves and said "Now here are the NEXT things we want."

Michelleoftheresistance Thu 05-Mar-20 22:17:26

Barracker, I may steal that for my MP if you don't mind, that's brilliantly laid out and it's hard to see how anyone can find it reasonable.

The only case ever made to justify it is the usual implication that the only thing that can possibly redress the perceived grievances of less than 1% of the population is the head of the entire female half of the human race served up on a plate, like Salome.

OvaHere Thu 05-Mar-20 22:37:48

Fantastic post Barracker

It really is akin to something out of dystopian fiction.

WrathofFaeKlopp Thu 05-Mar-20 22:43:04

We know female erasure is real because of the way lesbians have had their rights eroded. Not that Whittle cares about any of this, the men at the Beaumont Society certainly don't.

Why couldn't Whittle live as a lesbian?

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