Laws that promote gender ideology “undermine the foundations of the family”, something which in turn leads to “social problems such as juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, prostitution and violence against women”, a senior cardinal has said.
Antonio Cañizares, Archbishop of Valencia, slammed gender theory as a “denial of reason” and criticised Valencia’s regional government for introducing laws that promote transgenderism.
In a statement released on Thursday, the eve of the Epiphany, the Spanish cardinal called for public bodies to resist the introduction of such laws and called on the Valencian parliament to “rethink” its approach.
“We must fight for human dignity and against every type of discrimination,” he said, “But denying biological differences between men and women is not a solution.”
“It is questionable whether laws that promote gender ideology prevent discrimination against the groups at which they are aimed,” he added.
The cardinal insisted he was “not acting reactively against anyone, nor against legitimate institutions, nor rejecting anyone.”
“I am only acting in favour of, and in defence of, the human being and the family,” he said.
He added that such laws – which require people to deny the biological gender of a transsexual person, and punish them for refusing to do so – are a threat to religious freedom.
“This is not just a question of faith, it is a question of human reason,” he said.
Cardinal Cañizares is well known for his outspoken attacks on gender theory. Last year, he called on Catholics to disobey laws based on the ideology, describing it as the “most insidious and destructive ideology in all history”.
“We cannot submit to a mentality inspired by secularism, nor by gender ideology,” he said, adding that both ideologies are geared towards the “restriction of religious freedom to the point of promoting contempt or ignorance of the religious”.
An LGBT lobby group filed hate speech charges against the cardinal last year, saying his words were “full of hatred, homophobic and sexism, and incite hatred against those who do not fit into the archaic models defended by the Catholic hierarchy.”
The charges were dismissed days later.