US: Catholic Bishops: Trans People Don't Exist

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other conservative religious leaders have released an open letter condemning the concept of transgender identity, saying “that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa” is a “false idea.”

After an opening paragraph stating that “natural marriage” is a union between a man and a woman, the letter continues, “We come together to join our voices on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one's sex as male or female.”

“A person's discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth,” the missive goes on. But it opposes any gender-transition procedures, saying, “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.”

“Gender ideology” sows “confusion and self-doubt,” says the document, posted on the bishops’ website Friday, adding that the state “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.”

New Ways Ministry, a Catholic organization that advocates for LGBT equality, today issued a rebuttal to the letter. “This statement is dangerous because it distributes false information which can lead to attitudes, policies, and practices which will do physical and emotional harm to transgender people, a community already with a high risk of becoming victims of hate crimes,” writes Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry.

“The main problem with the statement is that it claims that gender is determined only by genitalia, a view which modern science and people’s experience have shown to be insufficient,” he continues. “Gender is also determined by other biological factors, often not immediately visible, such as hormones, genetics, brain composition, and internal self-understanding." Read more via the Advocate