“We strongly oppose the Independent SOGI Expert's attempts to undermine the hard-won advancements of women and girls whose rights and private spaces are being violated by men who identify as women,” the Bishops in Kenya emphasize in their March 14 submission shared with ACI Africa.
They recommend, “Instead of trying to create special protections for people based on their internal perceptions of themselves, which can change over time, we should enforce existing laws and policies calling for the elimination of violence against anyone.”
In criticizing the “gender identity” ideology, Catholic Bishops in the East African nation make reference to “troubling examples” indicating how such policies “put women and children at risk.”
They refer to the 2018 incident in West Yorkshire, England where “a biological male inmate with a history of sexual offenses changed his name and dressed as a woman so he could be moved to a female prison where he sexually assaulted four female prisoners.”
They also refer to a 2012 incident in Olympia, Washington where “A 45-year-old man, who self-identified as a woman, used the women's facilities at the Evergreen State College swimming pool, exposing himself to minor girls who also used the college's swimming pool.”
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“Your conception of a ‘gender framework’, which incorporates radical transgender ideology will lead to discrimination, harassment and violence against women and girls as your proposed framework will erase the very rights and protections designed for them,” KCCB members say in their submission.
The stance of the Catholic Bishops in Kenya against transgender ideology is similar to that of the Catholic Bishops in neighboring Ethiopia who, in a separate submission, “fundamentally disagree with the radical and unscientific transgender ideologies’ that underpin the IE’s Report.”
In addition to the concerns, which KCCB members raise, Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia are concerned that the IE on SOGI is seeking to implement Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) “designed to indoctrinate children.”
CBCE members are also concerned that the UN official is keen on mainstreaming queer theory, which they say is “an unhealthy belief system that encourages children to disassociate from their biological sex in harmful ways.”
In criticizing CSE, the Catholic Bishops in the Horn of Africa nation remind the IE on SOGI that CSE and “sexual orientation and gender identity” concepts were “specifically rejected from the 2030 Agenda by many UN Member States.”
Thus, the Bishops in Ethiopia say, “The establishment of this SOGI’s expert mandate is a deliberate attempt to override the positions of States opposed to such and coerce them into accepting SOGI rights.”
“This is a direct assault on the sovereignty of UN Member States and an abuse of the UN system,” CBCE members say.
They add in their 15-page submission availed to ACI Africa, “We strongly oppose the attempt by the Independent Expert on SOGI to push harmful and ineffective ‘comprehensive sexuality education’ as a major tool to indoctrinate the world’s children and mainstream radical sexual and gender ideologies into the rising generation.”
In the submission signed by CBCE Secretary General, Fr. Teshome Fikre Woldetensae, CBCE members denounce IE on SOGI’s “actions seeking to identify states that are not implementing the harmful ‘comprehensive sexuality education.’”
They further denounce the UN official’s “most recent call to identify political and religious leaders worldwide who speak out publicly against harmful and unscientific ‘gender ideology.’”
As a way forward, CBCE members call on UN Member States to “reject the past and forthcoming reports issued by IE on SOGI and to censure him for aforementioned ultra vires actions that will only serve to denigrate the many hard-won sex-based rights for women and girls, lead to destruction of the natural family, and damage children who will receive harmful CSE designed to indoctrinate them in radical gender and sexual ideologies and queer theories.”
“As Church, we condemn any form of abuse, violence, and discrimination against people based on their gender or any other factor. We hold firmly to the inherent dignity of every human being and support the already agreed on,” Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia say.
They add, “This is a human right already recognized by the UN Charter of Human Rights. This does not need new legislation to be affirmed.”
“From the foregoing, it is our humble request that your Commission will not be used as an advocate to lobby for interests, contrary to the common good of human beings,” CBCE members say.