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Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Have Arrived at Catholic Colleges
By Patty Knap
In cities around the nation, the push is on for “gender-neutral bathrooms.” We’re told that, for people who consider themselves “transgendered”, using a male- or female-only bathroom is uncomfortable and discriminatory. Advocates of non-specific bathrooms say some people simply prefer not to have their sex “identified” by other bathroom-goers.
In other words, some people may “present” (dress as) one sex but anatomically could be the other sex. These folks are saying they should have the “right” to use a bathroom without having their current sex identity identified.
Here’s what’s most disturbing of all: Some Catholic colleges are going along with the gender-neutral trend. Gender-neutral restrooms can now be found at Creighton, Fairfield, Fordham, Georgetown, Marquette, Santa Clara, Boston College, and the University of San Francisco.
On the Creighton University website, I found a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) proposal for fourteen more gender-neutral bathrooms on campus to add to the eight already in place.
At the University of San Francisco’s website, discussion of gender-neutral bathrooms seems to be old news. Instead, the focus has moved on to gender-neutral housing. This year the Jesuit school offered three floors of gender-neutral housing. According to the student housing representative I spoke to, there has been a demand for such housing the past few years, and there have been no negative comments about the new offering. From the University of San Francisco’s website:
Gender inclusive housing provides a safe, affirming, and inclusive community living option for students of the following identities and lived experiences:
• Transgender students
• Gender queer students
• Students who are currently transitioning from one gender to another (i.e. transitioning from male to female or female to male)
• Students who do not conform to society’s expectations of their assigned gender at birth
• Students who do not wish to be identified by any sex or gender identity
• Students who are in the process of discovering their gender identity
• Students who appreciate and respect people with the above identities and lived experiences, and who would prefer to live in a community comprised of such
The following are specific qualities of the gender inclusive option:
• Students living in the gender inclusive community may share a room with students of any gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sex
• There are no dedicated male or female bathrooms on the gender inclusive floor. The bathroom is a communal bathroom and is shared by all members of the community (regardless of gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sex)
Community standards include:
• Modeling behavior that reflects a positive value and respect for gender as a non-binary construct (human beings are not necessarily male or female as ascribed by their assigned gender at birth)
• Openness and desire to develop one’s own understanding about gender identity, sexual orientation, and other differences
• Working to create and promote a safe, affirming, and inclusive community for all students
• Use of inclusive and socially just language and the preferred names and gender pronouns of community members
• Education of guests about the values and community expectations of the gender inclusive community
The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides this very clear statement:
“Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. ‘Being man’ or ‘being woman’ is a reality which is good and willed by God ... In their ‘being-man’ and ‘being-woman,’ they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness.”
Pope Benedict XVI cautioned the world against the distortions of gender theory:
“The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.
“According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. ... Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation.”
“... And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.”
Last year, Regensburg Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer said that “the essence of man and woman is the potential to become a father and the potential to become a mother, respectively. These are not exchangeable roles, but rather gifts from the Creator, and, in the last instance, a calling.” Gender theory “is the repudiation of the order of creation.”
Psychiatry Professor Dr. Paul R. McHugh of Johns Hopkins University stated in the Wall Street Journal that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that warrants real treatment and that sex changes, from a medical standpoint, are “biologically impossible.”
He put an end to “sex-reassignment surgery” at Johns Hopkins citing the scientific evidence, saying:
“Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All (including Bruce Jenner) become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they ‘identify.’”
“The idea that one’s sex is fluid and a matter open to choice runs unquestioned through our culture and is reflected everywhere in the media, the theater, the classroom, and in many medical clinics. It has taken on cult-like features... It is doing much damage to families, adolescents, and children and should be confronted as an opinion without biological foundation wherever it emerges.”
“Cult-like features” indeed. All of us in the Church—beginning with the Catholic colleges and universities—would be wise to heed these warnings against the confusion of our age.
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