"Totalitarian." That's how Alberta Bishop Fred Henry described the provincial government's "gender identity" guidelines, released last week. All schools in the province, including Catholic, are expected to implement the guidelines in mandatory transgender policies.
The guidelines would impose upon the schools the most extreme form of so-called "gender ideology." For instance, under the guidelines, schools can no longer have a universal dress code for boys and girls because it might not respect a student's preferred “gender identity and gender expression.” Schools also have to get rid of gender-segregated activities for the same reason. And, of course, transgender individuals must be given access to the team, washroom, and change room of their choosing, whether it makes other people feel uncomfortable or not.
The guidelines even bizarrely state that a student’s own “self-identification” as either a boy or a girl, or neither, is the “sole measure of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”
And, in a move that critics say completely sabotages the parent/child bond, the guidelines go as far as to state that school administrators must obtain a student’s “explicit permission before disclosing information related to the student’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression” to his or her parents.
It even gets more bizarre: The guidelines also state that students must be called the pronouns of their choice, including “ze,” “zir,” “hir,” and that “mother” and “father” should be removed from “school forms, websites, letters” so as to make communications as “inclusive” as possible.
Alberta Catholic Bishops drew a firm line in the sand, stating that they wanted none of this in Catholic schools.
Calgary's Bishop Fred Henry, liaison on education issues for the Alberta Bishops, was the first to sound the trumpet of opposition, writing a powerful pastoral letter last week in which he called the guidelines “totalitarian” and “anti-Catholic.”
Soon all of Alberta’s Catholic bishops with a responsibility for Catholic schools issued strong statements against the guidelines, including Bishop Paul Terrio of St. Paul, Archbishop Gerard Pettipas of Grouard-McLennan, and Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith.
Archbishop Smith called the guidelines “simply not congruent with Catholic teaching,” and confirmed to LifeSiteNews that the guidelines would not be used to form Catholic school policy.
However, the bishops are undoubtedly in for a fight. Right now, the Alberta government needs to hear from thousands of concerned citizens like you that these new guidelines are completely unacceptable. And, finally, the bishops need to receive encouragement in their fight for the truth. Sign this petition, and then share it with all your friends and family.