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Vatican’s denouncement of gender theory, surrogacy ‘deeply harmful’: LGBTQ+ group

A leading Canadian LGBTQ+ rights group says the Vatican’s declaration that gender-affirming surgery and surrogacy are violations of human dignity is “deeply harmful” and discriminatory. 

Egale Canada says that in issuing the declaration, the Vatican has taken “many large steps” back in its previous attempts to support LGBTQ+ people. 

It says the declaration is particularly “reprehensible” at a time when LGBTQ+ communities are facing a rise in hate, harassment and violence. 

The Vatican’s doctrine office issued a 20-page declaration that was approved by Pope Francis and includes commentary on what it calls several “grave violations of human dignity.”

The new document repeats the Vatican’s rejections of gender theory, gender-affirming surgery and bringing children into the world via surrogacy, saying those “grave violations” are on par with abortion, euthanasia, war and human trafficking.

The document says people must not interfere with God’s creation of man and woman as biologically different, and that surrogacy violates the dignity of children by making them a “mere object” in the process.

At the same time, the Vatican’s declaration says the Catholic Church is against “unjust discrimination” against people because of their sexual orientation and that it denounces violent persecutions on that basis as “contrary to human dignity.”

Throughout his papacy, Francis has insisted that all “children of God” are welcome in the church and he even called some critics who disagreed with his outreach to LGBTQ+ communities hypocritical.

Late last year, the Pope formally allowed Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples even though the church maintains its strict ban on gay marriage. Some saw the move as a positive step, but others said it treats gay couples as inferior to heterosexual ones.

“Despite attempts to take small steps forward in support of 2SLGBTQI communities, the Vatican has now decided to take many large steps back,” Egale Canada said in a statement Monday after the Vatican’s “Infinite Dignity” declaration was published online.

“The release of their declaration that gender-affirming surgery and surrogacy are violations of human dignity is not only offensive, it is deeply harmful and discriminatory,” the statement said.

“The decision by the Catholic Church to continue to treat 2SLGBTQI people as inferior is the real violation of human dignity.”

Egale said it will continue to engage with faith-based communities to advocate for equity, dignity and acceptance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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