Religious leaders in the US have signed a statement attacking ‘transgender ideology’ and warning of the harm done to children when they are told they can change their sex or are given hormones to affect their development.
The statement, ‘Created Male and Female: An Open Letter from Religious Leaders’ was signed by Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox bishops, Muslim leader Imam Faizal Khan and by evangelical figures including Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
It denies that the ‘socio-cultural reality of gender’ can be ‘separated from one’s sex as male or female’.
It says God ‘created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw – it is a gift from God that helps draw us closer to each other and to God’.
It describes someone’s ‘discomfort’ with their sex as ‘a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth’.
However, the statement warns against the harm done to children in particular by ‘gender ideology’, saying it ‘harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt’.
It concludes: ‘We desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children. Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person’s sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all. We hope for the renewed appreciation of the beauty of sexual difference in our culture and for authentic support of those who experience conflict with their God-given sexual identity.’
Screenshot/National GeographicNational Geographic used a nine-year-old transgender boy for its January 2017 cover.