Now, perhaps some reading this will see a clear cut example of the Austrian legal system and the ECHR giving undue protection to a religion. After all, the default age of consent set by the European Union is sixteen. It is sixteen in Scotland. On the surface, then, this may look open-and-shut; this is an example of and adult having sex with a minor. It is difficult today to separate this from the neo-orientalist anxiety surrounding child brides, and so it is at least understandable why some people arrive at the conclusion that this was paedophilia.
But there are other ways to communicate. As a Christian of the Catholic tradition, I have serious reservations about the more radical aspects of Gender Theory. I do not, for example, believe that sex and gender are fluid, and — if we must define the human person in narrow and reductionist biological terms (we are more than the sum of our bits) — I struggle with the claim that ‘trans women are real women.’ But trans women and men are real people.
Yet, we feel that we can’t ban these marches – that we can’t ban the organisation – because to do this would be illiberal, it wouldn’t be tolerant. Rubbish! If the Orange Order insisted on marching through the more affluent streets of Glasgow, insisting that they too were “the Queen’s highway,” they would have been banned decades ago. If their songs and their open hostility were directed against Jews or people of colour instead of Catholics, the government would have no option but to ban the organisation. So, why is this not the case when they are marching down working-class streets?