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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (8/20/19)

August 20, 2019

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to [email protected] with the subject “News Roundup.”


Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Southwestern Distances Itself from Paige Patterson in Sex Abuse Lawsuit, Christianity Today (David Roach)

“Southwestern’s attempts to distance itself from its once-celebrated president come as a generation of younger Southern Baptists grapple with the legacy left by their predecessors. They want to honor the Resurgence, said Baptist historian Barry Hankins, but still distance themselves from negative revelations surrounding its leaders…Insensitivity around gender issues may stem from a misapplication of complementarianism, the belief men and women are of equal value but created for different roles in the church and home, Hankins said. Southern Baptist conservatives have claimed misogyny and abuse represent a repudiation of complementarianism, not merely a misapplication.”

Daughters who prophesy, Mennonite World Review (Paul Schrag)

“Among North American Mennonites generally, gender equality in pastoral ministry remains the exception…MC USA still has work to do: In the 2006 survey, 58 percent of respondents said they preferred a man as lead pastor. To a rising generation that expects gender equality, the church of the 1970s might seem ancient in its attitudes about women’s roles. But four decades later, barriers remain to be broken, and Epp’s advice is far from out of date: “Be courageous. If you hear the call, listen to it. And don’t give up.” Find a church that won’t limit your opportunities to serve God.”

The Limits of Pentecostal Women Leaders, Christianity Today (Morgan Lee)

“Leah Payne joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why women have struggled to advance past the pastorate, the unique ways Pentecostals understand church leadership, and why many Pentecostal churches have pastor couples that lead churches together.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

America Moved On From Its Gay-Rights Moment—And Left a Legal Mess Behind, The Atlantic (Emma Green)

“Half a decade after the Supreme Court’s same-sex-marriage decision, the justices and Congress are still trying to figure out what federal law should say about LGBTQ rights.”

‘No timidity’ for California governor’s wife on key causes, Associated Press (Kathleen Ronayne)

“The chief causes for Siebel Newsom, a 45-year-old actress turned documentary film maker, are gender equality and society’s treatment of women and families. As California’s “First Partner,” a term she prefers to the traditional “First Lady” because it is gender neutral and could apply to the spouse of a future woman or LGBT governor, Siebel Newsom is marrying the activism she’s done through her filmmaking with the governing agenda of her husband, a Democrat in his first term leading the nation’s most populous state.”

Beyond Androgyny: Nonbinary Teenage Fashion, The New York Times (Hayley Krischer)

“Deborah Tolman, a psychology professor at the City University of New York whose work focuses on teenage sexuality, thinks this wider-spread fashion movement is, for many teenagers, about playing with masculinity and femininity “while maintaining it at the same time.” True androgyny, she said, would suggest that the binary goes away. That there is no binary. Dr. Tolman called what is happening now “queering” fashion, because when you “queer” something — fashion, whatever — you’re getting out of those boxes. “And the point of queering things is not to be in those boxes,” she said. “Because if you keep your head in the boxes, you can’t actually think about this.””

How Trump Is Reversing Obama’s Nondiscrimination Legacy, The Atlantic (Emma Green)

“Across the executive branch, Trump-administration officials have steadily worked to expand these kinds of religious-freedom exemptions to federal nondiscrimination rules. In large part, this is a backlash to the Obama administration, which issued a number of discrimination-related rules and executive orders that many faith leaders saw as overly restrictive.”

Getting married in Alabama changing Aug. 29, The Birmingham News (Leada Gore)

“Alabama’s new marriage law goes into effect Thursday, Aug. 29. The change, approved by the State Legislature in its most recent session, eliminates the existing process of obtaining a marriage license and replaces it with requirements for a state-provided form that must be completed and notarized before being delivered back to a Probate Judge’s office. The Probate Judge would then record – but not issue – the license…The new law also ends the practice of requiring a marriage be “solemnized” by a minister or someone else licensed to perform a ceremony. Current law requires a minister, judge, retired judge or person otherwise authorized to perform a ceremony to sign the marriage license before it is recorded.”

Virginia transgender bathroom case: Judge favors ex-student, Associated Press (Ben Finley)

“A federal judge in Virginia ruled Friday that a school board’s transgender bathroom ban discriminated against a former student, Gavin Grimm, the latest in a string of decisions nationwide that favor transgender students who faced similar policies. The order issued by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk is a major victory for the American Civil Liberties Union and for Grimm. His four-year lawsuit was once a federal test case and had come to embody the debate about transgender student rights. The issue remains far from settled as a patchwork of differing policies governs schools across the nation. More court cases are making their way through the courts.”

Harvard’s Ban on Single-Sex Organizations Hurts Women, National Review (Erin Hawley)

“The controversial policy, implemented with the entering class of 2017, subjects to punishment any undergraduate student who joins an “unrecognized” single-sex social organization. Students who join such organizations may not hold any on-campus leadership position, captain an athletic team, or be recommended for prestigious postgraduate fellowships. The federal lawsuit is one of two cases that seek to bar Harvard from enforcing the sanctions policy. The state-court case argues that the policy violates students’ right to free association. The federal case argues that it is a violation of Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination.”

Canadian Court Bans Lawyer From Referring To Trans Teen As Her Actual Sex, The Federalist (Jeremiah Keenan)

“Last Thursday Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson, of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, heard arguments over whether a 14-year-old girl should continue to receive weekly testosterone injections without parental consent. The hearing dealt with a case that has garnered significant media attention over the past five months because of its implications for parental rights, children’s health care, and free speech. As previously reported, in February Justice Bowden of the BC Supreme Court ruled that 14-year-old Maxine* should begin taking testosterone on the sole basis of her own consent.”

Useless Dads and Placid Women: U.K. Bans 2 Ads Over Sexist Stereotypes, The New York Times (Palko Karasz)

“The ads, from the local branches of Volkswagen and the food giant Mondelez, were found to be in breach of the rules, which stipulate that ads must not include “gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offense.” Volkswagen’s ad showed a series of men “engaged in adventurous activities,” the regulator said, while the only two women depicted were asleep in a tent and sitting by a baby carriage. The main characters of the ad from Mondelez, for the cheese spread Philadelphia, were two distracted young fathers in a restaurant who appeared “unable to care for children effectively.””

PA Bans LGBTQ Activities in West Bank, The Jerusalem Post (Khaled Abu Toameh)

“The Palestinian Authority banned members of the Palestinian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community from carrying out any activities in the West Bank. The ban came after the grassroots group Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society (Arabic for “the bow”), which engages and supports Palestinians who identify as LGBTQ, was planning to hold a gathering for its members in Nablus at the end of the month. The group operates both in the West Bank and among Arab-Israelis.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Christians Must Talk About Sexuality, The Humfreys (Clint Humfrey)

“No professing Christian can afford to ignore the topic of sexuality. The sexual revolution has swept across North America into unlikely places like Alberta the land of oil and cowboys. The sexual revolution refuses to be ignored. Conservative politicians would like to drop the topic. And Christians cannot merely act like it is a problem for “someone, somewhere”. Christians must talk about sexuality or else they are in danger of being blindsided by it.”

O-ed: Why lawsuits against Catholic schools should fail, The Indianapolis Star (Richard W. Garnett)

“This lawsuit and others like it should fail. The First Amendment, as well as the Supreme Court’s unanimous Hosanna-Tabor decision, are clear on this point: It is not the role of the state to second-guess the religious decisions of a church. There is certainly room for conversation and argument, in the public square and in the churches, about the wisdom of particular religious determinations or the soundness of particular doctrines. As a legal matter, though — as Chief Justice John Roberts put it — “the church must be free to choose those who will guide it on its way.””

Women as Church leaders: Female complementarians on current debates, Beth Moore, misogyny, The Christian Post (Brandon Showalter)

“Amid widespread sexual abuse and corruption scandals rocking evangelical churches and denominations, the question about how women are treated in the church and precise ways in which they can and should lead has risen to the fore yet again. To explore these questions in greater depth, The Christian Post spoke with two theologically adept women who maintain that Scripture holds that certain offices are reserved for men in the church while also addressing how and why misogyny manifests in part 1. It will be followed by an in-depth interview with an egalitarian scholar in part 2.”

How feminism treats heterosexuality as a problem, Denny Burk (Denny Burk)

“How does renouncing heterosexuality liberate them according to Bianco? Feminists generally view marriage and motherhood as institutions that limit a woman’s agency and freedom. These institutions make women dependent upon and subordinate to men. The only way for women to have true freedom and empowerment over their male oppressors is to sever all natural connections between sex, marriage, and childbirth.”

The Girl You Want May Not Exist, Desiring God (Greg Morse)

“Marriage, though stunning, is not about us — we enjoy it without bowing to it. God will make earth heaven when he returns and lives there. Until then, we can (and most of us should) seek to embrace his good gift of marriage, as far as it depends upon us. Until then, we marry our type — imperfect people, redeemed by grace, made alive in Christ. Until then, we live out the chief end of man in our marriages: to glorify Jesus, knowing that God is most glorified in our marriages when our marriages are most satisfied in him. Two imperfect spouses, one imperfect marriage, pointing to forever with him.”

Back to Romance, Institute for Family Studies (Joe Malone)

“I encourage young people, especially young women, to think carefully about this whole scenario and consider joining what I call a back-to-romance movement. This means going back to traditional courtship, where emotional relationships are developed first and then the relationship may increase in intimacy as opposed to the current norm that calls for sex without any relationship.”

Why the U.S. Has Long Resisted Universal Child Care, The New York Times (Claire Cain Miller)

“Most Americans say it’s not ideal for a child to be raised by two working parents. Yet in two-thirds of American families, both parents work. This disconnect between ideals and reality helps explain why the United States has been so resistant to universal public child care. Even as child care is setting up to be an issue in the presidential campaign, a more basic question has recently resurfaced: whether mothers should work in the first place.”

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