WASHINGTON–The chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and the Committee on Catholic Education expressed gratitude for the Trump Administration’s repeal of the “deeply disturbing” May 2016 guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education entitled “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students.”
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, chairman of the 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, together issued the following statement:
We are grateful that the Trump Administration has withdrawn the guidance which had indicated that public pre-K through 12 schools, as well as all colleges and universities, should treat “a student’s gender identity as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 Dear Colleague Letter sought to impose a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with sensitive issues involving individual students. 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 wellbeing of all people, particularly the most vulnerable. 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 all young students and parents.