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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (02/06/20)

February 5, 2020

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

How can Catholic colleges welcome the L.G.B.T. person?, America (James Martin)

“Even educated Catholics tend to think that the catechism includes simply a restriction on same-sex relations and same-sex marriage. It does, but there is also the invitation to treat them with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity’ and the restriction against ‘unjust discrimination.’ But even this is too narrow. Church teaching on L.G.B.T. people is more than a few lines in the catechism. Church teaching is the Gospel and Jesus’ message of love, mercy and compassion, especially for those on the margins. That is the heart of church teaching.”

John Ortberg Investigated After Church Volunteer Confessed Attraction to Minors, Christianity Today (Bob Smietana)

“”In July of 2018, a person serving in the Menlo Church community came to John and shared in confidence an unwanted thought pattern of attraction to minors,’ the church’s elder said in a statement. ‘The person assured, to John’s satisfaction, that the person had not acted on the attraction and sought John’s support. John believed the person and provided prayers and referrals for counseling.’ But Ortberg took no steps to bar the person from working with minors, according to the elders. He also did not talk to other staff or church members about the situation.”

Franklin Graham barred from third venue ahead of UK tour over LGBTQ views, WCNC (Emma Korynta)

“Mayor Joe Anderson of Liverpool confirmed that Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, had been banned from the venue in a tweet. ‘We can not allow hatred and intolerance to go unchallenged by anyone including by religious groups or sects,’ Mayor Anderson said, in part, in a tweet….BBC reported Graham’s May 30 visit to Glasgow, the first date on the tour, was canceled earlier this week. A spokesperson from the Scottish Event Campus told BBC that after realizing the publicity the event was gathering, they spoke with shareholders — their principal shareholder requested they not host the event. The June 6 event at Sheffield Arena in Sheffield has also been canceled, according to BBC, after calls by LGBTQ leaders saying Graham promoted homophobic views.”

Church of England sticking by LGBT sex guidance, BBC News (Gurvinder Gill & Tamsyn Kent)

“The Church of England will not be withdrawing guidance that said sex is only for ‘heterosexual married couples’. But the archbishops of Canterbury and York are ‘very sorry and recognise the division and hurt’ last week’s statement caused. Justin Welby and John Sentamu say the statement ‘jeopardized trust’. It came ahead of a study by the Church into human sexuality, due to be published later this year.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Martina Navratilova calls for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed, ESPN (Simon Cambers)

“Navratilova said Court’s continued comments, including views on transgender and same-sex marriage, have crossed a line. ‘When Margaret goes out of her way to single out a group of people and tell them they don’t deserve equal rights, that they are less than good parents, that they are not godly, that’s not merely free speech,’ she said. ‘It’s hateful and hurtful speech and it’s injurious to countless vulnerable people.’ At last year’s Australian Open, Billie Jean King said she thought Court’s name should be removed. ‘I think it’s really important if you’re going to have your name on anything, that you’re hospitable, you’re inclusive, you’re open arms to everyone that comes. It’s a public facility,’ King said.”

Jersey City Muslim and Coptic Christian parents angry over state-mandated LGBT curriculum, The Jersey Journal (Joshua Rosario)

“More than 60 Muslim and Coptic Christian parents stood together Thursday night at the Jersey City Board of Education meeting to denounce the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) curriculum mandated by the state, claiming it violates their First Amendment rights. Last January Gov. Phil Murphy signed the law that requires schools teach middle- and high-schoolers about the political, economic, and social contributions of LGBT people starting in 2020-21. The Rev. Thomas Nashed, of the St. George & St. Shenouda Church on Bergen Avenue, said the critics of the curriculum are not trying to tell others how to live, but think it is a form of LGBT indoctrination.”

A Call for Common Sense, First Things (Ramona Tausz)

“Every state in the Union has laws restricting alcohol use by minors—this should also be mandatory for dangerous medical procedures that have no proven therapeutic benefit. Should children—who are legally too young to drive or to drink—be legally permitted to consent to chemical abuse, to unsafe surgical procedures that can lead to sterilization, mutilation, trauma, and lifelong regret?”

KY bill would limit transgender athletes. Critics say it’s part of a ‘slate of hate.’, Lexington Herald-Leader (Valarie Honeycutt Spears)

“The legislation says that an athletic activity or sport designated as girls or womens shall not be open to male students. It says during an athletic activity or sporting event, including practices, access to athletic facilities designated for the exclusive use of a single sex, such as a locker room, shall be restricted to members of the designated sex, coaches and staff, and emergency responders. Under the bill, If the biological sex on a student’s official birth certificate has been edited since originally issued or the biological sex of the student is subject to an official challenge, a medical examination will be required establishing a student’s sex.”

AI’s Role in Achieving Gender Equity, MIT Sloan Management Review (Katica Roy)

“The solution Roy puts forth is to focus on removing bias from performance evaluations — the conversations, reviews, and processes that lead to career advancement (or a lack thereof). Using AI and natural language processing, software can identify bias in performance evaluations and point organizations toward making better decisions about promotions and new opportunities for employees.”

Taylor Swift is completely, woefully wrong about gay and transgender rights, Washington Examiner (Nicole Russell)

“In just four years, the legal and cultural landscape has shown that conservative fears of a ‘slippery slope’ predating the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges were well-founded. The left-wing gay and transgender rights movement really wanted entitlement, not equality. Now, if they achieve anything less than being able to force their views onto others, they claim victimhood and decry anyone who disagrees with them as a bigot. Unfortunately, many young people listen to Swift’s political opinions and therefore misunderstand what’s actually going on. It’s vital that her false narrative is corrected. Here’s a sampling of cultural struggles turned tumultuous lawsuits that showcase the opposite of the trend Swift imagines.”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Bridging the LGBTQ Generation Gap, The Atlantic (Emily Buder)

“The LGBTQ community is often referred to as a ‘family,’ with the connotation being that it is a supportive, close-knit group of people. According to researchers, however, the analogy is particularly salient when it comes to another, not-so-positive aspect of families: generation gaps. More than 60 percent of LGBTQ elders report feeling an isolating lack of companionship; two in five feel disconnected from the younger LGBTQ community. (This is especially true for survivors of the AIDS epidemic.)”

Americans Are Having Fewer Kids. Evangelicals Are No Exception., Christianity Today (Liuan Huska)

“In the latter 20th century, evangelicals began shifting from their separatist, fundamentalist roots and engaging more across society. The changing role of women, said Baylor University historian Philip Jenkins, is one of the biggest factors influencing downward fertility trends. Research shows an inverse correlation between women’s educational attainment and family size. As evangelical women like Cobb increasingly work outside the home, it changes their calculus around family size.”

It’s Time To Face The Facts: We Have A Gender And Diversity Problem In The Nonprofit World, Forbes (Anu Kumar)

“Let us review: There are fewer women in top positions of larger nonprofit organizations, and when there are women in those positions at any size organization, they are likely to be paid less than male leaders. On top of that, the organizations they lead are often less likely to get funders’ attention and dollars, thereby limiting the growth of their organizations and the impact they can make in the world. Vanessa Daniel of the Groundswell Fund wrote about this in the New York Times, saying that ‘people who are overrepresented in success at social change — women of color who lead grass-roots nonprofits — are wildly underrepresented in funding. Only 0.6 percent of foundation giving was targeted to women of color in 2016.'”

Does Your Razor Need a Gender?, The Wall Street Journal (Ellen Byron)

“Do we need his and hers razors? For more consumers today, the answer is no. As shoppers increasingly question the value of gender-differentiated products, more consumer goods makers are eliminating gender traits from their marketing….Young shoppers especially have become skeptical about the need for gender-differentiated products amid a growing conversation about gender more broadly, consumer researchers say. At the same time, busy families looking to simplify their lives want to streamline the variety of products they buy.”

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