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Lansing Catholic Diocese criticized for new policy on transgender students, MSU professor opposes view

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 6:35 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Lansing Catholic Diocese is being criticized for its new policy on transgender students, but says they stand by it.

The policy falls in line with Catholic doctrine. The diocese opposes therapy and surgery meant to help people transition away from their biological bodies.

“What we want students to receive from this policy is clarity on what the church teaches about who the human person is, what the church believes who the human person is and receive an approach of compassion rooted in the truth,” said Richard Budd of the Lansing Catholic Diocese. “That truth to the Catholic church is to help students who struggle with their identity before they invest in surgery or medications to transition into another gender.”

The Lansing Catholic Diocese latest policy states students will use bathrooms, play on sports teams, and be referred to as the gender they were born as.

“What we don’t want students to get from this policy is that they’re somehow not welcome or they’re somehow in an adversarial relationship with the church,” he said.

The diocese’s policy states students can receive therapy if they are struggling with their identity.

“Our schools don’t provide therapy in and of themselves. It’s really a partnership with the school to help these families to allow these children to understand who God made them,” said Jenny Ingles, Lansing Catholic Diocese Director of Fertility and Life Ministries.

A sociology professor at MSU says the policy isn’t healthy for students struggling with their identity.

“It concerns me for a student who is questioning their gender or identify as trans or non-binary to be placed into a situation where from up top these decisions are coming down that are more or less saying ‘we don’t see you,’” said Stef Shuster, sociology professor at Michigan State University. “All of the evidence is pointing towards that they need to be affirmed right? They need to be affirmed as the gender they’re identifying as not the gender they were assigned at birth.”

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