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Christian Artist Sues UK Council

by | Sat, Mar 30 2024

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A Christian artist in the UK is suing a local London council after being banned from her own exhibition and reported to the police for saying in a private conversation that it is harmful for children to try to change their sex.

43-year-old Victoria Culf was told by Watford Borough Council representatives that police were investigating her for comments she made that were critical of transgender ideology, according to the Christian Legal Centre which added that a ‘non-crime hate incident’ had been recorded against Mrs. Culf’s name without her knowledge.

The incident arose out of a conversation that a council employee initiated with Mrs. Culf as she was setting up an art exhibition which she organised and funded at the Watford Museum. The staff member shared that her child was socially transitioning. While making a cup of tea, the artist politely told the mother that because of her Christian beliefs and her experience working with children and young people, she believed transitioning was harmful.

“Truth is a person and his name is Jesus. I feel it is important to be truthful even if it is slightly uncomfortable,” Mrs Culf recalled saying. Although the conversation ended calmly and amicably, the council employee shared an angry social media post soon after, saying she had been “subjected” to a “transphobic rant.”

The Watford Museum informed Mrs. Culf the next day that there were allegations of “harassment” against her and she could not enter her own exhibition without giving 24 hours’ notice because the council had to “safeguard” the council worker. Mrs. Culf later learned that the council had failed to promote her work as part of the exhibition and that her artwork had been “broken and damaged.” She was also excluded from a community art project, allegedly due to council pressure on the organisers.

The artist described the scenario as “just complete madness to me. The conversation I had was calm and considered and I had expressed care and concern for her family. What I did not do was affirm another child ‘transitioning’ to another gender backed by their parents and getting puberty blockers from the discredited Tavistock Clinic.” The National Health Service has since banned puberty blockers for children.

The Council soon retracted allegations that her remarks constituted a “non-crime hate incident” after learning that the UK High Court had ruled that recording such incidents is a “significant interference with the right to freedom of expression”, and therefore illegal. Christian Concern reports that following a Data Subject Access Request, the Council “incredibly” claimed it had no documentation about all the actions it took against the artist.

Mrs. Culf is suing the Watford Borough Council on the grounds of breach of contract, discrimination, harassment, misfeasance in public office, negligence, intimidation, defamation, conspiracy, and malicious falsehood. She is seeking damages, a written formal apology, and the lifting of restrictions that keep her from going to the museum. She is also asking that a retraction of the allegations be made and given to all parties, and that the council make a commitment that nothing like this will happen again.

“We are now living in a culture where for just expressing opposition to transgender ideology, even politely, can lead to you being reported to the police. I am aware that me speaking out could be ‘commercial suicide’, but I am not prepared to be silent on these issues and I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she vowed.

“At first what happened really knocked my confidence and made me doubt myself and my sense of reality. I was depressed and as an artist struggled to motivate myself as the strength of the attack made me feel unqualified. My faith has kept me going, and I cannot waiver from what I know to be the truth.”

“I am determined to fight for justice and to speak about what has happened to me. I believe there are probably many other Christian artists, and artists from all walks of life, who have been treated similarly and have had to suffer in silence.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is acting for Mrs Culf said: “Victoria has the courage to speak into her colleague’s situation because of her love for Jesus and love for her colleague and their child. It is a disturbing trend in society when Victoria who was motivated by kindness and compassion is subjected to such extreme punishment merely for expressing Christian truth.”

“Allowing and encouraging a child to take puberty blockers is harmful. To be punished for expressing concern on this shows us how all pervasive and tyrannical the trans lobby has become.  We cannot allow this trans tyranny in our culture to trample over beliefs that are protected in law, backed by expert evidence and which truly safeguard vulnerable children,” Ms Williams concluded.

Photo: Christian Concern