Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
Catholic Bishops in two Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) countries; Kenya and Ethiopia are “deeply concerned” with the report by the United Nations (UN) which gives the impression to exhibit “a clear bias in favour of radical sexual and gender theories and policies.”
In two different reports, one from Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB)’s Commission for Education and Religious Education (CERE) and another by Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia (CBCE) submitted to the UN Independent Expert on Social Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), the Church leaders have highlighted that the UN report “undermines the very foundation upon which sex-based rights and protections are established.”
In their submission, members of the KCCB support the protection of all fundamental human rights of all persons. However, they clarified, “Your report (the UN’s report) clearly aimed at, among other things, advancing radical gender theories and ideologies that seek to erase all differences between men and women and undermine the hard-earned gains for women and children in the area of human rights.”
Transgender ideology claims that each person has a “gender identity” which is an internal sense of gender that may or may not align with their biological sex, and the ‘real you’ is what you feel it to be from the inside.
According to the KCCB report, even though every individual is entitled to basic human rights, adopting a “gender identity policy” that has over 112 different gender identities, “would create great controversy among UN Member States.”
“If we adopt a “gender identity” policy, only gender-confused individuals can determine if some policy or action violates the law. There is no other law in the world that functions this way,” they added.
Expressing firmly their stance about the report, the Catholic bishops in Kenya said in a statement signed by the KCCB’s Chairman for CERE on Sunday, March 14, noted, “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 propose that “Instead of trying to create special protections for people based on their internal perceptions of themselves which can change over time, (the) existing laws and policies calling for the elimination of violence against anyone should be enforced.”
On their part, Catholic bishops in Ethiopia Bishops disclose that the Independent Expert on SOGI is attempting to “mainstream queer theory throughout the UN system and to pressure UN Member States to do the same,” with the intention to “make all States accountable to radical concept of a “gender framework” that would mainstream SOGI ideology in all laws and policies.”
“The idea that a biological male becomes a girl or woman simply by adopting stereotypical female behavior and dress is regressive and harms girls and women by reinforcing the very stereotypes that have resulted in the harassment, discrimination, and violence against girls and women,” they highlighted in the report signed by CBCE’s Secretary General Fr. Teshome Fikre Woldetensae.
The bishops said that the Church condemns any kind of discrimination or violence against people based on their gender or any other factor noting that “Every human being has equal dignity which is inherent to his/her nature.”
“It is our moral duty as church to kindly request that your commission should not go against the common good of the human beings,” they concluded.