European Forum

of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups

Response to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Memo to Government Agencies

The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups was shocked and saddened by the news that the US Department of Health and Human Resources has issued a memo to Government Agencies proposing that gender and sex are one, and that they are “determined on a biological basis”, if necessary supported by genetic evidence. There can only be male and female. Such a rigid viewpoint rules out any possibility of recognition of those with variant gender identity and could also affect some people with intersex conditions.

Churches and the “Gender Ideology” Movement

The Department’s Roger Severino described the Obama administration’s acceptance of gender identity under previous legislation as “radical gender ideology”, a concept with which the European Forum has become very familiar throughout Europe in recent years, both in the Roman Catholic Church and in the more conservative parts of the Protestant Church. We continue to work hard to oppose these views and towards the full acceptance of trans people in society, and in particular in Christian communities.

A Deplorable Proposal that Erases Rights and Recognition

The DHHR’s proposal, which effectively eradicates any recognition or legal protection of trans people, is deplorable and we wish to stand together with our trans friends across the US at a difficult moment in their nation’s history.

We urge the current administration to reconsider their proposal and to take note of the wealth of scientific knowledge and wisdom which acknowledges the reality of transgender identity and justifies the support of trans people and their inclusion as equals alongside cis-gendered men and women in society.

About the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups

The European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups is an ecumenical association of LGBT Christian groups in Europe. The European Forum aims to achieve equality and inclusion for LGBT+ people within and through Christian churches and other religious bodies and multilateral organisations. With around 40 member groups from more than 20 countries in Europe, the European Forum works for freedom of religion for LGBT people, for human rights, for the dignity of LGBT people and for an affirmative discourse on human sexuality. The European Forum is a member of the Council of Europe since July 2016.