News 5 Cleveland.This has raised questions about whether such a provision relies too heavily on gender stereotypes about clothing and behavior that could also impact non-LGBTQ students. The policy prohibits students from transitioning genders or using gender-affirming pronouns, bars same-sex couples at school events, and prohibits students from “advocat[ing] or celebrat[ing]” the LGBTQ community, including displays of the Pride flag or rainbows.A student’s biological sex will determine bathroom usage and membership on single-sex school-sponsored sports teams, although girls may join boys’ teams “when deemed appropriate.” Parents will also be notified if their child is believed to be gender-nonconforming.The new policy has been criticized by some who have claimed it appears to conflict with more welcoming remarks by Pope Francis regarding the inclusion of members of the LGBTQ community within the Church.The diocese has defended the policy as a request from church and school leaders, emphasizing the importance of training and education youth in Church teaching — even as it continues to claim that “each and every person is welcome and invited to be a part of the Church,” according to The Hill.DignityUSA, a group for LGBTQ Catholics and their families, and the organization’s Northeast Ohio chapter, have said the diocese’s policy appears to “betray the essence of Catholicism.”“The policies that our bishop has recently released send a clear message that welcome in our schools and churches is conditional,” Susan Russell, the President of Dignity Northeast Ohio, said in a statement.
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