USCCB committee chairmen applaud decision on transgender directive

| February 27, 2017 | 5 Comments

The chairmen of two U.S. bishops’ committees Feb. 24 praised President Donald Trump’s repeal of the Obama administration’s directive on transgender access to bathrooms.

The guidance, issued last May by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education, “indicated that public pre-K through 12 schools, as well as all colleges and universities, should treat ‘a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex,'” said the bishops’ joint statement.

The document “sought to impose a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with sensitive issues involving individual students,” said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education.

“Such issues are best handled with care and compassion at the local level, respecting the privacy and safety concerns of all students,” they said.

In rescinding the directive, the Trump administration said that addressing of transgender access to bathrooms is best left to the states and local school districts, not the federal government.

The Obama administration said it applied to all public schools as well as colleges and universities that received federal funding. The directive “summarizes a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students,” administration officials said, and that it also explained how the Education and Justice departments will “evaluate a school’s compliance with these obligations.”

The federal Title IX statute prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities, like sports. Some months before issuing the directive, Obama administration had warned schools that denying transgender students access to the facilities and activities of their choice was illegal under its interpretation of federal sex discrimination laws.

Officials at the Justice and Education departments in the Trump administration rejected the previous administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.

That directive, they said, was arbitrary and devised “without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy.”

“Pope Francis has taught that ‘biological sex and the sociocultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated,” said Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Murry, quoting from “Amoris Laetitia,” the papal document on marriage and family.

“The Catholic Church consistently affirms the inherent dignity of each and every human person and advocates for the well-being of all people, particularly the most vulnerable,” the two prelates said. “Children, youth and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion sensitivity, and respect. All of these can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security on the part of all young students and parents.”

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  • Dominic Deus

    Dominic Deus here: Both quotes below are taken verbatim from the original piece above.

    “In rescinding the directive, the Trump administration said that addressing of transgender access to bathrooms is best left to the states and local school districts, not the federal government.”OK, so the Trump administration said, but the law says otherwise: “The federal Title IX statute prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities…”Equal treatment under the law is a concept which does not lend itself to a thousand different interpretations in different school districts in different states across the nation. If it did we would still have segregated schools, lunch counters, and yes, bathrooms.

    There are options for privacy in virtually all bathrooms. They really don’t need to change; we do. There was similar resistance to the creation of handicapped access facilities. There was violent resistance to banning bathrooms segregated by race. There was even resistance to putting baby changing stations in men’s bathrooms, the claim being that it was not gender appropriate for men to diaper their offspring.

    Even by the usual standards of states’s rights apologists, this is silly. I just can’t bring myself to assert a scriptural basis to any of this, nor do I think it requires referencing a papal exhortation. I don’t think we need guidance form the Magisterium on this..People just want to pee. Note to Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Murry: We’ve got this guys. Truly. We *CAN* handle it!

    OK, I have to go…..;-)

    • carolq

      I am simply befuddled as to why some people want transgender males, who are clearly presenting as males, to use women’s restrooms. If I came across a male in a women’s rest room, I would be startled, and would not think to ask for a copy of this person’s birth certificate to insure that he was “really” female.

  • DebraBrunsberg

    Hopefully this will all be quashed at the local level also.People who are living under the delusion that they are a member of the opposite sex need compassion, but they also need psychological help. To assist someone with mental illness by playing along with their delusion is not love. The same as an anorexic person looking in the mirror and seeing themselves as grossly fat needs treatment so they can align their thought process with the reality of their body, so do people who think they are a sex other than what they biologically are, deserve that same treatment. Title IX should not apply to these cases because it is not discrimination to expect a male to use the mens locker room and a female to use the women’s locker room. Pretending you are something you are not and will never be is not a basis for denying the majority of people their basic right to privacy. This entire issue was just another push by the extreme left wing to wreak more havoc on schools and families. It needs to be stopped now.