The bishop-Chairmen of two USCCB Committees slammed President Obama’s July 21 "gender identity" executive order for its lack of religious freedom protection and "flaws in its core prohibitions." This new "non-discrimination" executive order, aimed at preventing workplace discrimination against LGBT persons, opens the door to discrimination against Christians and those with deeply-held beliefs about the nature of marriage and human sexuality.
Re-iterating the Catholic Church's opposition to unjust discrimination and sexual conduct outside of marriage, the bishops outlined how this new executive order "implements discrimination" and why Catholics and people of goodwill should oppose it.
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth said:
Today’s executive order is unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed.
In the name of forbidding discrimination, this order implements discrimination. With the stroke of a pen, it lends the economic power of the federal government to a deeply flawed understanding of human sexuality, to which faithful Catholics and many other people of faith will not assent. As a result, the order will exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs.
More specifically, the Church strongly opposes both unjust discrimination against those who experience a homosexual inclination and sexual conduct outside of marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman. But the executive order, as it regards federal government contractors, ignores the inclination/conduct distinction in the undefined term “sexual orientation.” As a result, even contractors that disregard sexual inclination in employment face the possibility of exclusion from federal contracting if their employment policies or practices reflect religious or moral objections to extramarital sexual conduct.
The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be chosen at variance from one’s biological sex. This is a problem not only of principle but of practice, as it will jeopardize the privacy and associational rights of both federal contractor employees and federal employees. For example, a biological male employee may be allowed to use the women’s restroom or locker room provided by the employer because the male employee identifies as a female.