WASHINGTON — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J., of Oakland, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education; Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; and Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, issued a statement responding to President Biden’s executive order of January 20 that addressed last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga.
Their joint statement follows:
“Every person has a right to gainful employment, education, and basic human services free of unjust discrimination. That right should be protected. The Supreme Court’s Bostock decision, however, needlessly ignored the integrity of God’s creation of the two complementary sexes, male and female, with reasoning that treated them as devoid of meaning.
“Wednesday’s executive order on ‘sex’ discrimination exceeds the Court’s decision. It threatens to infringe the rights of people who recognize the truth of sexual difference or who uphold the institution of lifelong marriage between one man and one woman. This may manifest in mandates that, for example, erode health care conscience rights or needed and time-honored sex-specific spaces and activities. In addition, the Court had taken care to note that Bostock did not address its clear implications for religious freedom. Yesterday’s executive order exercises no such caution.
“We are very grateful for the new administration’s actions on immigration and the climate, as well as for another executive order, ‘On Advancing Racial Equity,’ which is nobly aimed at identifying and remedying racism and its impact on society and in government. It is unfortunate that the goal of racial equality is partially conflated with the imposition of new attitudes and false theories on human sexuality which can produce social harms.
“We share the goal of ending unjust discrimination and supporting the dignity of every human, and we therefore regret the misguided approach of Wednesday’s order addressing Bostock.”
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