Bishop Richard J. Malone of Bufallow, N.Y. in 2015. He and Archbishop George J. Lucas says the Obama administration's May 13th directive on transgender bathroom access is 'deeply disturbing' CNS photo/Bob Roller

Obama directive on transgender access to bathrooms 'deeply disturbing'

  • May 16, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration's May 13 directive on transgender access to bathrooms "that treats 'a student's gender identity as the student's sex' is deeply disturbing," said the chairmen of two U.S. Catholic bishops' committees.

"The guidance fails to address a number of important concerns and contradicts a basic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that 'the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created,' ” the two bishops said in a statement May 16.

The statement was issued by Bishop Richard J. Malone, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop George J. Lucas, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Catholic Education.

The directive, or guidance, was issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education. The departments said it applies to all public schools and colleges and universities that received federal funding. It "summarizes a school's Title IX obligations regarding transgender students," they said, and also explains how the Education and Justice departments will "evaluate a school's compliance with these obligations."

The federal Title IX statute prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities, like sports. AP reported that the Obama administration earlier had warned schools that denying transgender students access to the correct facilities and activities was illegal under its interpretation of federal sex discrimination laws.

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