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Tell Bishop Thomas Paprocki: Stop threatening transgender students and churchworkers

A new policy in the Diocese of Springfield (Illinois) calls for severe and punitive restrictions on the ways transgender students and others are treated in Catholic parishes, schools and other ministries in the diocese.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s new Policy 650 mandates that employees and volunteers not use preferred pronouns, deny access to bathrooms and locker rooms, and prohibit transgender youth from participating in school athletics — or face being terminated. Students can be expelled for not conducting themselves “in accord with their biological sex at all times,” and parents are cautioned against being too supportive of their LGBTQI children.

Bishop Paprocki’s onerous new policy seeks to condemn and isolate transgender and nonbinary people and their families, and it willfully disregards both modern mental health standards on gender identity and the risks to LGBTQI people forced to endure in settings that refuse their identity.

We need to remind Bishop Paprocki that policies like his deprive LGBTQI people of the human dignity that Church teaching says is the right of every person. This policy will cause real harm — which is why he needs to hear from LGBTQI Catholics and their allies today.


We call on Bishop Thomas Paprocki and the Diocese of Springfield to withdraw Policy 650. This harmful policy threatens transgender and binary nonconforming people with loss of education, employment and community. It is in clear contradiction with Catholic teaching upholding the dignity and worth of every person, and it also defies modern mental health standards and practice on gender identity. We ask Bishop Paprocki to immediately withdraw this policy, and to enter into real dialogue with transgender people, families, and their medical and mental health care providers.