Catholic Church rejects transgender identity in first statement



Democrats in the House approved sweeping anti-discrimination legislation Friday that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. (May 17)

In its first statement on gender identity, the Vatican on Monday rejected the idea that transgender people can change their gender identity in a document meant to instruct Catholic teachers and students on sexuality and gender.

The document, titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” suggests only men and women are sexually complementary, and that changing norms in gender identity contribute to the “destabilization of the family.”

According to Vatican News, the church’s news platform, the document is intended as “an instrument to help guide Catholic contributions to the ongoing debate about human sexuality.”

“Male and Female He Created Them” is created by the Congregation for Catholic Education, the educational arm of the Catholic Church. It brands changing understanding towards gender identity and sexuality as a cultural and historical trend in “gender theory” that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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LGBTQ Catholics denounced the document, stating that it “will cause families to reject their children, and it will increase alienation of LGBT people from the Church.”

“By ignoring new scientific understandings of gender identity, and by refusing to engage in dialogue with LGBT people about their lived experiences of self-understanding and faith, the Vatican remains in the dark ages, promoting a false teaching that relies on myth, rumor, and falsehoods.” writes Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, an advocacy group for LGBTQ Catholics. 

This document comes in the midst of Pride Month, and one day after an LGBTQ-targeted attack in Detroit killed three people — two gay men and a trans woman.

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Contributing: The Associated Press


Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote



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