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US Church leaders, in joint statement, urge officials to reject coercive measures on gender identity

December 14, 2016

Prominent American Catholic educators have joined with other Christian leaders in a joint statement calling upon political officials to reject pressure to apply gender-identity ideology to anti-discrimination laws, in violation of the religious freedom of Church institutions.

The joint statement emphasizes the threat to religious freedom posed by policies that enforce gender identity, saying that such policies:

... empower the government to use the force of law to silence or punish Americans who seek to exercise their God-given liberty to peacefully live and work consistent with their convictions. They also create special preference in law for categories based on morally significant choices that profoundly affect human relations and treat reasonable religious and philosophical beliefs as discriminatory.

The statement is signed by several dozen Christian leaders, including the presidents of the presidents of Aquinas College in Tennessee; the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio; Ave Maria University in Florida; and Thomas More College in New Hampshire. Also signing are Archbishops Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and William Lori of Baltimore; Bishops Frank Dewane and George Murry. Prominent lay signers include Robert George of Princeton, Patrick Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society, Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy center, and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention.


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