Obama directive on transgender access to facilities ‘deeply disturbing’

The Obama administration’s May 13 directive on transgender access to bathrooms “that treats ‘a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex’ is deeply disturbing,” said the chairmen of two U.S. Catholic bishops’ committees.

“The guidance fails to address a number of important concerns and contradicts a basic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that ‘the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created,'” the two bishops said in a statement May 16.

The statement was issued by Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, who chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education.

The directive, or guidance, was issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education. The departments said it applies to all public schools and colleges and universities that received federal funding. It “summarizes a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students,” they said, and also explains 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. AP reported that the Obama administration earlier had warned schools that denying transgender students access to the correct facilities and activities was illegal under its interpretation of federal sex discrimination laws.

In their statement Bishop Malone and Archbishop Lucas noted that 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.”

“Especially at a young age and in schools, it is important that our children understand the depth of God’s love for them and their intrinsic worth and beauty. Children should always be and feel safe and secure and know they are loved,” they said.

They said that children, youth and parents in “difficult situations,” such as the focus of the federal guidance, “deserve compassion, sensitivity and respect.”

“All of these can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security on the part of the other young students and parents,” the two prelates said, but pointed out that the guidance issued May 13 “does not even attempt to achieve this balance.”

“It unfortunately does not respect the ongoing political discussion at the state and local levels and in Congress, or the broader cultural discussion, about how best to address these sensitive issues,” they said. “Rather, the guidance short-circuits those discussions entirely.”

They quoted Pope Francis, who said recently that “biological sex and the sociocultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.

“We pray that the government make room for more just and compassionate approaches and policies in this sensitive area, in order to serve the good of all students and parents, as well as the common good,” Bishop Malone and Archbishop Lucas said. “We will be studying the guidance further to understand the full extent of its implications.”

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Category: U.S. & World News

  • Maggie18

    Our Catholic Bishops, Arch…, Pope, just become so tiring and disappointing everyday. Is this a difficult topic for them to address or what? They can’t answer this directly and it is not that hard. Hey you priests, etc, allowing open bathrooms is anti-family and dangerous. I’ll keep it simple for you. It opens the gate for pedophiles to prey on children! Gain a backbone, will you clergy?

    • Tim Wellens

      Your fear of pedophiles in church bathrooms is well founded – there are priests around after all…

    • Tim Wellens

      Your fears of pedophiles in Church bathrooms is well founded – there priests in them you know!

    • Tim Wellens

      Your fears of pedophiles in Church bathrooms are well founded – those bathrooms have priests in them you know!

    • Charles C.

      Dear Maggie18,

      How does this sound?

      Dear president Obama,

      Encouraging members of one sex in the mistaken belief that they are members of the other sex, is publicly helping to perpetuate a falsehood. We don’t do that kind of thing in the Catholic Church. You are telling us to lie or you will take money from us. If you believe that money is sufficient to force an ancient institution dedicated to truth, to lie, then you are telling the world more about your values and character than ours.

      You claimed to be “The science president.” Science tells us which of our students are boys and which are girls; we will treat them in accordance with those scientific findings.

      Besides, have you considered the case of Nano, the 20 year-old Norwegian woman?

      “The woman, who goes only by Nano, says she’s been a cat her entire life. “I realized I was a cat when I was 16 when doctors and psychologists found out what was ‘the thing’ with me. Under my birth there was a genetic defect.”

      “Since coming out as “born in the wrong species,” Nano hisses at dogs
      she walks past, meows at strangers, hates water, and claims to be able
      to see in the dark. She also walks around on all fours and sleeps on
      windowsills.”

      Do you want us to get a litter box for her? Sorry, Prez, no can do.

      Signed,
      Every Catholic Priest and Bishop who hasn’t caved in to the demands of the Modern, Secularist, Progressive culture.

      • Maggie18

        I like it except for the fact that it would side-track the issue with many. My point is that this subject is so basic, so nonsensical, so dangerous………it disgusts me that the guy in the article can’t seem to answer the topic directly. It is a no-brainer. Do we have the inmates running the asylum?

        • Charles C.

          Dear Maggie18,

          Your objection is quite valid. My intent was to bring up another objection to the idea of transgender facilities. Certainly I may not have picked the main reason, but it is a little different approach to the question.

          The main point is the one we agree on, the bishops and priests have to say “No,” clearly and forcefully.