The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, under the leadership of Archbishop Alexander K. Sample, has adopted a model policy on how to deal with transgender students. It is a model not just for Catholic schools, but for all schools, private and public. It is empathetic in its understanding of those suffering from gender dysphoria, yet firmly opposed to gender ideology.
“The first chapters of Genesis in sacred scripture provide the foundation for a Catholic anthropology—the Catholic understanding of the human person. According to our faith, human beings are made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27).”
Pope Francis, who has called gender ideology “demonic,” is quoted in the policy, reminding us of who has stewardship over our bodies.
“The acceptance of our body as a gift from God is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy an absolute power over creation. Learning to respect our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology.”
The policy rejects the widespread notion of “gender identity theory,” which holds that “one’s identity as a man, woman, or both/neither is based solely on subjective self-perception.” This is false. Indeed, this kind of subjectivism is at odds with “the objective fact of biological sex.” Thus, it is contrary to truth. This, more than anything, is the heart of the problem of gender ideology.
The inclusion of “Pastoral Guidelines” is most helpful. Here are some of them.
• It recommends that “designations and pronouns should accord with biological sex.”
• Restrooms and locker rooms “should be organized according to biological sex.”
• Sports teams should be “based on biological sex, rather than self-perceived gender.”
• Dress codes should also be in accordance with one’s biological sex.
• Importantly, “no person should have on-site or distribute medications for the purpose of gender transition.”
• Just as critical, the policy recognizes that “parents are the primary educators,” and should be treated as such.
This commonsensical policy should be adopted nationwide. For starters, we need to end the exploitation of minors for ideological and financial profit. This means we need to start respecting the human dignity of the person. We did not come into the world as something other than male or female, and no amount of brainwashing to the contrary should be tolerated.