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BC father facing contempt of court charges for speaking out against child’s gender transition

The father is now facing three counts of criminal contempt of court and will appear for a hearing on Wednesday, September 2. If he is found guilty, he could potentially land in jail.

A BC father known only as C.D. in court documents has been trying to prevent court-ordered testosterone injections for his female-to-male transgendered child A.B. since A.B. was 14 years old. 

Lawyers representing A.B., as well as the father’s ex-wife and the medical professionals involved in A.B.’s transition, are arguing that C.D. broke a court-ordered publication ban by speaking to various independent media outlets about the case earlier this year.

C.D. is now facing three counts of criminal contempt of court and will appear for a hearing in Vancouver on Wednesday, September 2. If he is found guilty, C.D. could potentially land in jail.

“In practice, there seems to be a theoretical acknowledgement that five years [in prison] is super heavy.  As I can find no example of a parent in a family matter being found in criminal contempt of court I don’t have any past examples to compare,” C.D.’s lawyer Carey Linde told True North. 

“The court’s options are no penalty, a suspended sentence, a fine, prison or a fine and prison.”

A press release issued by Linde states, “The father will tell the court he knowingly breached the orders in full knowledge and expectation of punishment including imprisonment. He believes parents of young girls need to be warned of the known risks to the physical and emotional harm from the school’s SOGI programs, doctors at the gender clinic at Children’s Hospital Vancouver and social justice activists.”

SOGI 123 is a school program in BC and Alberta created to educate students on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation. 

The publication ban on the case prevents C.D. from speaking on the issue of his own child’s “sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical health, medical status or therapies.” 

C.D. is also bound by a court order to refer to his child using a male name and male pronouns both publicly and in private, or potentially face a charge of committing “family violence.” 

In March, the BC Supreme Court forwarded the case to BC’s Attorney General David Eby to consider whether C.D. would be charged with contempt of court after discussing the gender transition predicament in an interview with anti-SOGI activist Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson. 

According to Communications Counsel for the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) Dan McLaughlin, the BCPS filed a notice to proceed with criminal contempt charges against C.D. on July 30, 2020. 

“The BC Prosecution Service (BCPS), on Behalf [sic] of the Attorney General, undertook a detailed review of the matter and concluded that the charge assessment standard for criminal contempt proceedings were met in this case consistent with BCPS policy,” McLaughlin told True North. 

“There is no legislated maximum sentence or penalty for a finding of criminal contempt. The BCPS will have no further comment while the matter is before the court.”

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