Youth Blog

Youth Blog

TCDSB Debates Gender Identity and Gender Expression

On October 30th, CLC Youth Coordinator Josie Luetke, along with a number of other supporters, spoke to the Toronto Catholic District School Board's Catholic Education and Living our Catholic Values Sub-Committee. They requested that the board not adopt the language of "gender identity" and "gender expression" in the TCDSB Code of Conduct. Please see a copy of CLC Youth Coordinator Josie Luetke's statement and videos of her presentation below.  

In a 4 to 1 vote, the sub-committee opted not to include the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression," contrary to the demand of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Many thanks to trustees Mike Del Grande, Teresa Lubinski, Garry Tanuan, and Nancy Crawford for voting the right way, and shame on Maria Rizzo for rejecting Catholic teaching. 

However, the battle is not over. There will be another vote at the Student Achievement Committee meeting on November 7th, this time with the full board, and  another vote after that. We will need to sway more trustees to vote correctly. To do that, we ask that you contact your trustee using our intuitive Action Alert tool, and sign our petition to Cardinal Collins, pleading that he make a public statement on the matter.

Josie's Statement: 

To the trustees, teachers, parents, students, clergy, and other Toronto Catholic community members here today, thank you for this opportunity to address you. My name is Josephine Luetke, and I serve as the Youth Coordinator of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s largest pro-life and pro-family organization.

I am here today to ask the board not to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to its Code of Conduct.

Christian anthropology has at its core Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Moreover, the Catechism of the Catholic Church recognizes man as “a composite being, spirit and body.” The rejection of one’s material body—one’s biological reality—is a rejection not just of scientific fact, but also a rejection of self. As Catholics, we cannot condone this or any rejection of our human, sexual natures.

I am well aware that you are under intense pressure to adopt the deceptive language of “gender identity” and “expression,” but doing so is not a neutral act. It will cause harm to youth.

Firstly, gender-confused children need to be reaffirmed in their biological sex, not encouraged in their misperception. Those taking puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones often face serious side effects including sterility and poor bone development. According to Debra Soh, who holds a PhD in sexual neuroscience, many of these children—estimates vary from 61-88 per cent-- would otherwise simply outgrow their dysphoria, sometimes with the aid of psychotherapy. Indeed, we are also seeing an increasing number of individuals express regret over their transition.

Secondly, the more credence we give to the concepts of gender identity and expression, the more risk we subject women and girls to. Currently, a male can walk right out of a men’s washroom or change room and into a girl’s washroom or change room, and nobody can stop him from doing so; he can simply claim that he now identifies as a woman, and thanks to the ambiguity that “gender expression” introduces, his expression of his supposed womanhood can be identical to a typical masculine appearance. To be clear, I’m not saying that trans people are predators. I’m saying “gender identity” and “gender expression” have been and will continue to be weaponized by predators, regardless of their actual gender identities, and this is a problem we should be addressing, not aggravating, as we would be if “gender identity” and “gender expression” are added to the Code of Conduct.

Most importantly, our principal concern should be the truth, and it is to it that we owe our allegiance, not to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. As John 8:32 prescribes, “the truth will set you free.”

Please resist any attempt, no matter how well-intentioned, to legitimize the fabricated concepts of “gender identity” and “gender expression.” Thank you very much for your consideration.