Two Catholic bishops including Archbishop Charles Chaput praised the administration of President Donald Trump for repealing a year-old directive on transgender students, which at the time they called “deeply disturbing.”
The archbishop, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, issued a joint statement Feb. 24 on the May 2016 guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education titled “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students.”
The bishops in their statement said they were grateful the administration withdrew the guidance “which had 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.’”
The government’s letter “sought to impose a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with sensitive issues involving individual students,” the bishops wrote. “Such issues are best handled with care and compassion at the local level, respecting the privacy and safety concerns of all students.
“Pope Francis has taught that ‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated’ (Amoris Laetitia, no. 56). 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.
“Children, youth and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity and respect,” the bishops concluded. “All of these can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security on the part of all young students and parents.”
In rescinding the directive, the Trump administration said that addressing 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.”
Catholic News Service in Washington contributed to this story.
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Yes, the religious right leadership is concerned with only one issue and is concerned with getting those in authority who will fulfill their agenda regardless of whom that person surrounds himself. Case in point, POTUS and his cohorts including his chief strategist who is a self avowed Leninist. Secondly, whatever directive, law or action the POTUS doesn’t know how to handle or doesn’t like will be sent to the states to do whatever they like. Not only does this kind of action further divide the country but is truly unChristian.
For once good news for Catholics from actions taken by the federal government. Just think what the news would be if the Democrats and Hillary Clinton had won? The Catholic Church should ponder this question going forward and begin to take appropriate action.
Well said, D. Guidotti! I totally agree!!!
Aren’t you going to share with us your ideas about “appropriate actions”? (THIS CAN’T END GOOD!)
We also need to consider that any person taking testosterone is not allowed to play competitive sports because it is a drug-induced enhancement which is illegal.
Dear Archbishop Chaput: Let me make sure I understand. You believe that a person who looks like a female, dresses like a female, acts and talks like a female, who by every yardstick (except his unforeseen genitalia) IS a female, this person has to use the Men’s Room or some special Rest Room designated for “Trans” people by a state legislature or local school board. WOW!! I presume you understand that these “Trans” folks under your regime would be forced to publicly and immediately make known to all the true nature of their sexual identity, destroying their right to privacy, and bringing upon themselves the ridicule of people who… say… are a lot less progressive in their thinking than you? You say your concerns are both “privacy and security.” Well, so much for the privacy of the “Trans” population! But your concern about “security” can only be born of some deep-seated fear that any “Trans” person in a restroom not defined by their biological genitalia, must have an unusually high propensity towards molesting (sexually or otherwise) a member of the opposite biological sex. Not only is this thinking totally illogical and inconsistent with the advertised preferences of said “Trans” person, but there is also absolutely no empirical evidence to substantiate such a ridiculous notion. Lesbian, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, queers, etc. have been with us, are with us, and will always be with us in numbers that exceed, perhaps, all of our understandings. Even our Catholic Church recognizes that to be a member of one of these categories is NOT, in and of itself, sinful. The Church believes that only acting upon this state of life can be sinful. So, please Archbishop, as Lincoln once said about the slave population: “…Can’t we just leave these people alone?”
Thanks so much for such a reasoned response. I have never questioned anyone on their choice of facilities, and nobody has ever asked me about the choice I make. This issue is a big no-never-mind, unless it becomes more than which bathroom one chooses to use.