A Canadian appeals court has ruled that a trans teenager has the right to transition and that his father cannot stop him.
The ruling comes just four months after the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the teenage boy didn’t need his father’s consent to access hormone treatment.
But the boy’s father didn’t give up his fight there. He subsequently filed an appeal – but the appeals court has reaffirmed its support of his trans son.
The courts – which have also issued a ban on naming the father and son – insisted in a decision release on Friday (January 10) that the father is entitled to his views, but that they shouldn’t prevent his son from accessing hormone therapy, City News 1130 reports.
Trans teenage boy is mature enough to make his own decisions, appeals court rules.
The teenage boy – who is now 15-years-old – is mature enough to make his own decision about hormone therapy, the appeals court ruled.
Furthermore, Chief Justice Robert Bauman and Justice Barbara Fisher wrote in their judgement that the father’s refusal to accept his son’s identity has caused “significant pain” and has caused damage to what was once a loving relationship.
“This rupture is not in [the boy’s] best interest,” the ruling continued. “He clearly wants and needs acceptance and support from his father.”
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They closed out their decision by urging the father to listen to his son and to engage with his medical team, noting that if he refuses to do so, their relationship will “likely not heal.”
This rupture is not in [the boy’s] best interest. He clearly wants and needs acceptance and support from his father.
The appeals court decided to overturn parts of the former Supreme Court ruling, which limited what the father was allowed to say about his child’s transition. However, they upheld parts of the ruling which insist that he refer to his son by the correct name and gender.
The boy previously said he would ‘feel like a freak’ if he wasn’t allowed to continue hormone treatment.
The teenage boy came out as trans when he was 11-years-old, The Guardian reported last year. He came out following a period of serious distress which led to a suicide attempt.
Following consultations with medical professionals and with his mother, the boy began receiving hormone treatment in March of 2019 – but his father intervened and began legal action to stop him from doing so.
In an affidavit read in court at the time, the boy’s said: “I will be stranded between looking and sounding feminine and looking and sounding masculine. I would feel like a freak.”
The father’s lawyer told The Guardian at the time: “It’s a case about freedom of speech and the freedom to parent. It’s about the right of a parent to participate in the discussion on that issue.”