LGBTQ+ Student Services at CSU released a statement on Instagram in opposition to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland’s newest policy that bars gender and sexuality expression “contrary to the teachings of the Church” on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
“CSU’s LGBTQ+ Student Services stands with the LGBTQ+ youth that will be negatively impacted by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland’s official policy barring LGBTQ+ expression in their parishes and school,” reads the statement.
The policy, which went into effect Friday, Sept. 1, states that those experiencing gender dysphoria or same-sex attraction will not be denied admission to an institution or excluded from the community.
However, open disagreement with or actions against Church teaching by Diocese participants will result in restrictions on participation and potentially disciplinary action.
“Those persons who choose to openly express disagreement with Church teaching on matters of sex, sexuality, and /or gender in an inappropriate or scandalous way, or who act in ways contrary to the teachings of the Church, may be subject to restrictions on his or her participation in the life of the institution or, in appropriate cases, to disciplinary action, both for that person’s own good and/or the good of others,” reads the diocese’s policy.
According to the Diocese, teachings on gender and sexuality preaches that the human body is created either male or female, in God’s intentional image, which Catholic institutions are tasked with honoring.
Also outlined in the policy is parental notification, meaning that the institution is obligated to notify the parents or guardians of minors if their child either “is experiencing gender dysphoria or gender confusion.” If the child’s physical safety is of “reasonable” concern, the Diocese Legal Office and the Bishop’s designated moral theologian will be consulted to decide if notification is the best option.
The policy also requires all Diocese members to conduct themselves according to their “God-given biological sex,” including restroom usage, participation in programs and activities, and presentation of oneself, from mannerism to dress.
Preferred pronouns, social and medical gender transitions, attending parishes and dances with someone of the same biological sex, and public LGBTQ+ display such as pride flags are prohibited.
“This policy applies to all offices, parishes, parish schools, and diocesan schools of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (each an “institution”) as well as their employees, personnel, volunteers, students, and youth participating in parish or institutional faith formation,” further reads the policy.
All institutional records will also include an individual’s legal name and biological sex, with no changes allowed.
“Policies like these are a setback for us all,” said CSU’s LGBTQ+ Center. “We will continue to support and provide an affirming space for our LGBTQ+ community.”
The Greater Cleveland LGBT Community Center released a similar statement on the Cleveland Diocese’s policy, expressing disappointment in their “continued harmful rhetoric” and urging a reversal.
Over the summer, CSU updated their preferred name policy to allow students to see their preferred names displayed in more university systems, including Blackboard, Health and Wellness records, student ID cards and more.
Since it was first adopted in 2017, the goal of this university policy is to show respect and create a “non-discriminatory academic and work environment.”
CSU’s LGBTQ+ Center provides resources and support to the university’s LGBTQ+ community, with regularly hosted events and hours. Learn more about the center here.