On his first day in office, President Joseph Biden set the tone for his administration’s actions on the transgender issue with an executive order barring discrimination based on gender identity. It was followed shortly by an order allowing those seeking a change from their biological sex to serve in the military.
Religious freedom and legal experts have voiced concerns over these actions. Athletes and many with privacy concerns have also complained, arguing that these steps ignore the right to privacy and fair competitions.
Biden’s Day One executive order declared that “it is the policy of my administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.” This includes in his understanding of that “access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports” as well as protection against workplace discrimination due to lack of conformity “to sex-based stereotypes” and the ability “to access health care and secure a roof over their heads without being subjected to sex discrimination.”
The U.S. bishops spoke out against Biden’s order shortly after its release.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty; Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City; Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, California; Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana; and Bishop David Konderla of Tulsa, Oklahoma, released a joint statement saying that the order “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.”