In December, while the rest of the country was debating tax reform and net neutrality, four Catholic bishops and 16 other conservative religious leaders issued an “open letter” about transgender issues, firing a shot in what has become the next major culture war issue after same-sex marriage.
Not surprisingly, progressive Catholic groups — including New Ways Ministry, Call to Action and Dignity USA — denounced the document, while traditionalist Catholic websites and media supported it. Lost in the battle were transgender people themselves.
“It’s like we’re collateral damage in the culture war,” said Hilary Howes, a Washington D.C.-area Catholic and founder of TransCatholic, a ministry to transgendered people. “It’s painful to have people think of us in this way.”
The open letter, titled “Created Male and Female,” affirms the “inherent dignity” of all people, but warns that transgenderism is a “false idea” and “deeply troubling,” and calls upon government to support “policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology.”