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Milwaukee archdiocese restricts trans bathroom access with new policy

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has issued a policy where a transgender person at one of their facilities must use the restroom for their gender assigned at birth.

The policy is the latest move by Catholic clergy taking aim at the LGBTQ community. Last fall, the Diocese of Marquette, Mich., decided to deny sacraments to LGBTQ people who had transitioned or were in in same-sex relationships. In December, the bishop of Springfield called marriage equality “evil.”

The National Catholic Reporter reported that the rules state that a person’s assigned gender dictate which dress codes they follow, that transition related medications be barred on church property, and that trans people and their families be directed to ministers and counselors who can provide support “in accord with the directives and teachings of the Church.” The policy also bars using preferred pronouns whether talking or writing.

NCR said the policy was announced in an email to diocese priests. The diocese hadn’t responded to requests for comment from the publication.

Fr. Greg Greiten, the out gay pastor of Milwaukee’s St. Bernadette Catholic Parish, had told the NCR about the email.

“My initial reaction was one of fear,” Greiten said. “That we are not listening to the LGBTQ population once again, and the stories and the experiences of the LGBTQ community.”

NCR reported that in the past two years, more than a half-dozen dioceses have issued similar guidelines addressing questions of gender. They include the archdioceses of Indianapolis and St. Louis, the dioceses of Springfield, Illinois; Lansing, Michigan; Arlington, Virginia; and Marquette, Wisconsin. Minnesota’s bishops also issued a joint document.

NCR is a progressive publication independent of the U.S. Catholic church.

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