In Texas, the Fort Worth school district has put into words what its superintendent already says is practice – the requirement that all schools provide “access to restrooms consistent with ‘the gender identity that each student consistently and uniformly asserts'” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 6).
The formal statement of the requirement has drawn a harsh response from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has asked Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 10):
Patrick, who on Monday said Scribner should resign over the “bathroom” guidelines, held a news conference after Burns, saying the transgender policy is “ill-advised.”
Patrick said Scribner’s job is not to be a “social engineer.”
“This policy does nothing does nothing … to help students” prepare for their careers, Patrick said.
Earlier Tuesday, Scribner said he will not resign over the guidelines he implemented last month for transgender students.
The Right Reverend J. Scott Mayer, Episcopal Bishop of Fort Worth, is among the voices against Patrick. From his statement:
It is unfortunate that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has decided to interfere in Fort Worth Independent School District’s setting of policies for the safety of all children…
…The Christian writer C. S. Lewis said, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal . . . Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
All human beings are holy, for we all carry a scrap of divinity in us – our souls. It is that which matters, not our outward appearance. Gender identity is a complex mysterious thing, and as science learns more about it, we are led to understand more about the amazing diversity in God’s creation.
To drum up unwarranted and unfounded fears around the issue of gender identity and seek to scapegoat the transgender community is certainly not doing the work of God. Instead they are targeting an already vulnerable community, whose members are already at risk of violence simply for being who they truly are.
The entire statement can be read here.