USCCB Chairmen Respond to Administration’s New Guidance Letter on Title IX Application
WASHINGTON—Two Committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement in response to guidance issued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education entitled “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students”:
The Catholic Church consistently affirms the inherent dignity of each and every human person and advocates for the wellbeing 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.
The guidance issued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education that treats “a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex” is deeply disturbing. 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” (Amoris Laetitia [AL], no. 285).
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 the other young students and parents. The federal regulatory guidance issued on 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. Rather, the guidance short-circuits those discussions entirely.
As Pope Francis has recently indicated, “‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated'” (AL, no. 56, emphasis added). 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. We will be studying the guidance further to understand the full extent of its implications.
The statement was issued by Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Archbishop George Lucas, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education.
Consultant Dr. Theresa Farnan also wrote an article about this issue for OSV.
Science 1974 Dec 27; 186 (4170): 1213-5
In an isolated village of the southwestern Dominican Republic, 2% of the live births were in the 1970’s, guevedoces … These children appeared to be girls at birth, but at puberty these ‘girls’ sprout muscles, testes, and a penis. For the rest of their lives they are men in nearly all respects. Their underlying pathology was found to be a deficiency of the enzyme, 5-alpha Reductase.
Eppur si muove.
Regarding the statement by the DOJ of what the law says:
[30. Individuals are typically assigned a sex on their birth certificate solely on the basis of the appearance of the external genitalia at birth. Additional aspects of sex (for example, chromosomal makeup) typically are not assessed and considered at the time of birth, except in cases of infants born with ambiguous genitalia.]
— This is just a fact, which I hope we all can agree on.
[31. An individual’s “sex” consists of multiple factors, which may not always be in alignment. Among those factors are hormones, external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, chromosomes, and gender identity, which is an individual’s internal sense of being male or female.]
— Another fact, which I hope we all can agree on
[32. For individuals who have aspects of their sex that are not in alignment, the person’s gender identity is the primary factor in terms of establishing that person’s sex. External genitalia are, therefore, but one component of sex and not always determinative of a person’s sex.]
— The first statement is an assertion ; one with excellent scientific evidence behind it, but still an area we can discuss. The second statement is a fact, which I hope we all can agree on, but I’d be willing to discuss it, and assert that a man who has been castrated remains male.
[33. Although there is not yet one definitive explanation for what determines gender identity, biological factors, most notably sexual differentiation in the brain, have a role in gender identity development.]
— Again, a fact which I hope we all can agree on.
[34. Transgender individuals are individuals who have a gender identity that does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. A transgender man’s sex is male and a transgender woman’s sex is female.]
— The first statement is a fact. The second a conclusion based upon the thesis in . This is the crux of the issue, and as far as I can see, any theological arguments against are based on very thin grounds. As thin as theological arguments for, which are basically that it is the kindest, most humane, and at least equally evidenced proposition as any other interpretation.
The position statement sent to bishops last century was based on the proposition that there was no biological cause for transsexuality. We now know that that proposition is at best very very shaky, and very very probably incorrect in the majority of cases.
I therefore urge that this matter be re-examined in the light of evidence that has accumulated since 1996.