The Diocese of Des Moines, a Catholic organization in Iowa, has implemented strict policies regarding gender identity for all of its parishes and schools, according to a report from The New York Post.
These policies prohibit the use of puberty blockers, cross-dressing, and preferred pronouns on its property.
According to the Diocese, the policies are mainly aimed at individuals who experience “gender dysphoria” and were created “after two years of study, prayer, listening and consulting.”
The policies, which were enforced starting Monday, state that “respect for creation includes respect for one’s biological sex.”
They go on to say that “the human person is a body-soul union, and the body—as created male or female—is an essential aspect of the human person.”
According to the Diocese, these rules are “binding” for the 80 parishes, 17 schools, and 130,000 members under Bishop William Joensen.
The first rule states that “no person may designate a ‘preferred pronoun’ in speech or in writing when related to ministry activities of any kind,” including in schools.
Additionally, everyone must use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their biological sex, and can only participate in sports and other extracurricular activities that align with their biological sex.
The Diocese also requires that church members and students dress in accordance with their biological sex and that single-sex programs and designated buildings are restricted to individuals of the designated biological sex.
The district also prohibits the use of “any medications for the purpose of gender reassignment.”
In the guide, the Diocese states that “students and those entrusted to the care of the Church are not permitted to take ‘puberty blockers,’ even if self-administered, on parish or school property, with the purpose of a potential or actual ‘gender reassignment.'”
The guide goes on to compare such treatments to a form of “mutilation” and maintains that they are “morally prohibited.”
Instead, the Diocese encourages individuals who experience tension between their biological sex and their “gender” to seek guidance from “appropriate ministers and counselors” who will provide support in accordance with the teachings of the Church.
The Diocese states that “the diagnosis of gender dysphoria does not merit the alteration of one’s body through drug-induced hormone therapies or surgery; rather, one is entitled to receive unconditional love and support, as well as psychological and pastoral care.”
Despite these restrictions, the Diocese emphasized compassion for those experiencing gender dysphoria, wanting them to “know” the love of God.
The Diocese “fervently hopes that all persons experiencing gender dysphoria know… they are unconditionally loved by Jesus Christ and by the Church, and that they are vital members of the Body of Christ who have a home in the family of God,” they said.