Vatican City: The Vatican has issued an official document rejecting the idea that people can choose or change their genders and insisting on the sexual “complementarity” of men and women to make babies.
It said the idea of gender being determined by personal feeling rather than biology was an attempt to “annihilate nature”.
The document, published during LGBT Pride Month, was immediately denounced by LGBT Catholics as contributing to bigotry and violence against gay and transgender people. Advocacy group New Ways Ministry said it would further confuse individuals questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation and at risk of self-harm.
It called for a “path of dialogue” and listening on the issue of “gender theory” in education. But even priestly advocates for LGBT Catholics noted that the text appeared to have relied entirely on previous papal pronouncements, Vatican documents and philosophers and theologians.
Jay Brown of the Human Rights Campaign – the largest LGBT-rights group in the United States – said the Vatican’s stance “sends a dangerous message that anybody who experiences gender diversity is somehow less worthy.”
It called gender fluidity a symptom of the “confused concept of freedom” and “momentary desires” that characterise post-modern culture. It rejected terms such as “intersex” and “transgender” and said the purpose of the biological complementarity of the male and female sex organs was to ensure procreation.
“Gender is also biologically determined by genetics, hormones and brain chemistry – things not visible at birth,” DeBernardo said in a statement. “People do not choose their gender, as the Vatican claims, they discover it through their lived experiences.”
“This casts everything back to the Dark Ages,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, the executive director of DignityUSA, a group that advocates for LGBT equality and inclusion in the church. “I think it is incredibly insensitive, to be talking still about gender and sexuality as a choice and a momentary whim rather than a fundamental God-given identity.”
“And this is terrible,” Francis said in 2016.
The church on Monday said it was important to listen and “understand cultural events of recent decades,” but it also described a crisis in sexual education – a “disorientation” that was destabilising the family and cancelling out the differences between men and women.
“It is precisely within the nucleus of the family unit that children can learn how to recognise the value and the beauty of the differences between the two sexes,” the document said.
“This authoritative tool is quite clear in the condemnation of gender ideology and of the grave damage it wreaks inside society,” the group said. ….