Canadian Education Minister Says Children Must Be Allowed to Choose Their Own Gender

School bus
A school bus is shown in this file photo. |

Answers in Genesis CEO and President Ken Ham has slammed new school guidelines in Alberta, Canada, that allow children in public schools to pick their own gender identities.

"The cry of many in this generation of Americans is 'inclusivity' and 'tolerance.' It's astonishing, the radical changes that have been made to our Western society in the name of being inclusive and tolerant (but only inclusive and tolerant of certain viewpoints — and not the biblical ones!). Of course, this is most often seen in regard to gay 'marriage,' homosexual behavior, and transgender issues," Ham wrote in an AiG blog late last week.

"Well, this isn't just happening here in America. We're seeing this occur all across the West," he added, linking to Alberta's school guidelines issued by Education Minister David Eggen back in January.

As CBC News pointed out, the new rules give students the right to self-identify when it comes to their gender identity and expression.

"Some individuals may not feel included in the use of the pronouns 'he' or 'she' and may prefer alternate pronouns, such as 'ze,' 'zir,' 'hir,' 'they' or 'them,' or might wish to express themselves or self-identify in other ways (e.g., Mx. instead or Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss, or no prefix at all)," the guidelines read in part.

The rules further allow students to "participate on the team that reflects their gender identity and expression," meaning that boys can play on girls teams in sports, and vice versa.

What is more, Alberta students can also choose their own restroom and change room that are "congruent with their gender identity."

Ham argued in his blog post that although the government is trying to make students feel more comfortable, transgender lifestyles "go completely against God's design."

"God created male and female in His own image (Genesis 1:27). Male and female isn't something we can switch based on our emotions or feelings — it's the way God has designed us from the very beginning," he said.

"The answer for all people — transgender, homosexual, or otherwise — will not be found in 'inclusivity' or increased 'tolerance.' These things may promote acceptance of all kinds of sinful behaviors, thus making it easier to live a sinful lifestyle, but ultimately, this accomplishes nothing," he continued.

"The only answer for all people is the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Ham has spoken out against similar cases in the U.S. pertaining to transgender identities, including New York City guidelines that threaten to fine employers who repeatedly use the wrong pronouns when referring to transgender people.

The Roman Catholic Church in Calgary has also denounced Alberta's school guidelines, with Bishop Fred Henry calling them "the forceful imposition of a particular narrow-minded anti-Catholic ideology."

Henry wrote in a statement: "Our teaching is rather simple and direct. God created beings as male and female. In doing so, he gave equal dignity to both man and woman. In his plan, men and women should respect and accept their sexual identity."

The bishop added: "God created both the body and sex as good. Hence, we do not approach sexuality with fear or with hostility to the flesh. It is a gift of God by which men and women participate in his saving plan and respond to his call to grow in holiness."

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