US faith leaders call for policies upholding the truth of sexual identity
Catholic Bishops and other faith leaders have come together in an open letter expressing concern at the “deeply troubling” ideology that a man can be or become a woman, and vice versa.
The letter, signed by twenty faith leaders including Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, acknowledges that all human beings are created by God and have “an inherent dignity”. It also states that “God created each person male or female” and sexuality is, therefore, no accident but a “gift from God that helps us draw closer to each other and to God”. The leaders then reference sacred scripture: “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).
At a time when the Scottish Government is consulting on reform to gender recognition in Scotland, including opening up the possibility of children under 16 legally changing their gender, the open letter is timely. In it the faith leaders express grave concern about involving children in the new ideology on gender: “Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can “change” their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults.”
The faith leaders express sympathy with parents, saying that they “deserve better guidance on these important decisions”, and urge medical institutions to honour the basic medical principle of “first, do no harm.”
“Gender ideology”, they state, “harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt. The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it.”
There is a very real danger that the Scottish Government’s proposals, which includes moving from a medical ‘assessment’ model to a ‘self-declaration’ model, fails to acknowledge the real suffering of people with gender dysphoria. We will, in due course, publish a short guide to the consultation with some points for consideration so that you may submit your own response.