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Vatican says people shouldn't be able to choose gender identity

By Danielle Haynes
Vatican says people shouldn't be able to choose gender identity
Though Pope Francis did not sign the document, to high-ranking Vatican officials did. File Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | License Photo

June 10 (UPI) -- The Vatican released a document Monday dismissing the idea of gender fluidity or the ability of people to choose their gender.

The Congregation for Catholic Education released the document to educators, parents and religious leaders as guidance on modern conceptions of gender. The document said there is an "educational crisis" and encouraged a traditional education on gender and the concept of "marriage as being between one man and one woman."

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The Vatican said gender fluidity can lead to "the destabilization of the family."

Though Pope Francis didn't sign the document, the Congregation for Catholic Education cited the pontiff in its justifications. Two high-ranking Vatican officials did sign the document -- Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani.

In the past, Pope Francis has pushed for the inclusion of LGBTQ people within the church. In June 2016, he said Christians should apologize to gay people and other marginalized groups who have been offended or exploited by the church.

The group released the document during what is observed worldwide as LGBTQ Pride Month.

DignityUSA, an organization that seeks LGBTQ inclusion in the Catholic Church, called the document "dangerous, disingenuous and divisive."

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"Although presented as a call for dialogue, this statement reinforces the Vatican's entrenchment in a simplistic and outdated ideology of biological determinism," Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke said. "This documents fundamentally disregards and disrespects LGBTQI people by claiming our gender identity and sexual orientation are simply 'choices.'"

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