A couple weeks after the Christmas break, a friend asked me if I had heard about a policy that was being reviewed for our school district with regards to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. It was an addition to our Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Learning Environments Policy. She also asked if I had seen or read a new document that had also come out from the province (i.e. state) that would affect this Policy, upcoming curriculum changes, my children’s rights and ultimately parental rights within the schools. I had heard murmurings but hadn’t read anything.
For the last two years, I have gone to the United Nations with a group of mothers dedicated to promoting motherhood and defending the traditional family. By attending panels and events at the UN, I have become more educated on the various different agendas in politics relating to the family and some of the threats that the traditional family will face down the road.
Both times I came home from the United Nations, I held meetings at my house and shared the information I learned with other concerned moms so that they might know how to get more involved in standing for the traditional family. I prayed to know how I might do Heavenly Father’s work with the information and experiences I had been given.
After the second trip to the UN, my niece in High School had a few incidents in the girls’ bathroom with a male student who was transgender which involved using the bathroom stall next to her. This person insisted on using the girls’ bathroom despite having male genitalia, which was against the district’s policy, even though accommodations had been made with access to a private bathroom in the nurse’s office. My niece knew this student well and was kind to him, the students and administration felt compassion for his condition. However, in those moments in the stall, my young niece followed her conscience that it was not right to have a male in the stall next to her and privately called her mom to tell her how unsafe she felt to have any male in there with her, regardless of whether they felt they were transgender or not. My sister knew I had studied the topic so she and I discussed the proper course of action to take to protect the rights of both students. Continue reading
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined with other major religions in filing a brief on the transgender case Glouchester County School Board vs. G.G. and Dierdre Grimm (full text may be found here). The major religions joining the Church in filing this brief include:
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
National Association of Evangelicals
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Christian Legal Society
Summary of the Argument
- Interpreting “sex” to mean gender identity would generate conflicts with religious persons and institutions across a range of fronts. Major religious traditions—including those represented by amici—share the belief that a person’s identity as male or female is created by God and immutable. That belief is contradicted by the U.S. Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)
- Our core beliefs and practical experience hold that gender is a given, consisting of attributes intrinsically connected with one’s birth sex—not an individual choice. We and other major religions agree that human beings are the creation of God; that He created them male and female; that to be male or female is an immutable characteristic; and that this characteristic carries certain attributes and responsibilities.
One thing is perfectly clear: sacred writings and official statements from several major religions—including those of amici—demonstrate remarkable unanimity on the origin and purpose of gender as immutable and divinely ordained.
One of the breakout sessions at the World Congress of Families XI, opened my eyes about feminism. Entitled “The Beneficial and Harmful Influences of Feminism”, it threw me some punches. Because feminism is multi-faceted, it was important to clarify that feminism, defined as women speaking up and speaking out for the right to vote and to have equal opportunity, was not going to be the discussion. While these are beneficial influences that have benefited and changed the world and certainly the lifestyle of many women, the discussion would focus mainly on the harm “radical feminism” has done against women.
Gail Ruzicka, who came from Utah’s Chapter of Eagle Forum, centered her thoughts on Feminine vs. Feminism. Feminists draw upon the acceptable idea that we must fight for strong women and their opportunity to speak up for themselves, but in actuality, they have a political agenda to change laws and traditional moral standards.
Feminists want to remove everything that represents our male counterparts, but “Feminine,” is the Biblical definition of a true woman. Continue reading
Gender is a hot topic in the media these days. As women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do we know that our divine feminine nature comes from God? Do we understand that it was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity? How might it change how we feel about ourselves when we fully understand that femininity is part of the God-given divinity and identity within?
I’ve been thinking a lot about Rosemary Wixom’s talk titled Discovering the Divinity Within and the words we might use to describe our divine femaleness. The words “divine female identity” and “divine gender identity” keep coming into mind. With all that has been going on in the media this year on the topic of gender confusion and gender identity, I thought it was interesting that Sister Wixom didn’t need to spell out these specific social issues. Instead, she spent her time teaching correct doctrine and pure truth about our divinely appointed identity. We can then choose to use these truths to govern our thoughts, opinions, behavior and views about the world around us.