Pro-LGBTQ organizations responded to news about the Indianapolis archdiocese issuing new guidelines warning that transgender students may not be able to enroll in its Catholic schools.
The archdiocese's "Policy and Complementary Norms on Sexual Identity in School Ministries of the Roman Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis" is signed by Archbishop Charles C. Thompson and Chancellor Annette "Mickey" Lentz, effective June 8. Among other things, GLAAD found that the internal document states:
If there's an attempt to legally change a student's gender, the student will be forced to withdraw from school;
If parents or students are unwilling to conform to the policy, the student faces expulsion; and
A student's clothes and appearance must be "consistent with their biological sex."
In a separate media release, Indianapolis PFLAG President Jan Nichols said, "To exclude a group of students from receiving an education because of who they are and how they identify does a terrible disservice to this group of already marginalized youth. The Archdiocese should be lifting these students up, not casting them aside.
"As parents and allies of LGBTQ young people, we know all too well the difficulties that transgender students often face. Indianapolis PFLAG will do all we can to help these students and their families receive the quality education they deserve."
"The Indianapolis archdiocese's attempt to target transgender young people rather than create safe and accepting environments for them is shameful and dangerous," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a release. "Research shows transgender youth face a higher risk of suicide from just this kind of rejection and refusal to see their authentic identity. To codify this rejection further isolates and threatens the very young people in need of love and protection."
In the same release, Shelly's Voicean Indiana-based advocacy group formed to defend and protect LGBTQ teachers from discrimination and unjust dismissalcriticized the policy's exclusions and goals.