EPPC Amicus Brief Defends Parents and Children from Gender Ideology Curriculum


September 6, 2023


On September 6, the Ethics and Public Policy Center filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a motion for an injunction pending appeal in Mahmoud v. Montgomery County (MD) Board of Education. This case was brought by parents of children enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools after the School Board denied parents’ request to opt their children out of the Board’s new sexuality and gender curriculum.

The brief, co-authored by EPPC fellows Eric Kniffin and Mary Rice Hasson, argues that the district court improperly downplayed the conflict between the curriculum and their religious exercise. It shows that the curriculum does more than teach “diversity” and “inclusion”: it advances gender ideology. Drawing on the work of EPPC’s Person & Identity Project, the brief shows that gender ideology is fundamentally incompatible with Christian anthropology and Catholic teaching:

The online “Trans Language Primer” defines “sex” as:

A binary system (wo/man) set by the medical establishment to reinforce white supremacy and gender oppression, usually based on genitals and sometimes chromosomes.

The Board matches the radical “Trans Language Primer” step-for-step: its “Sample Student Call-Ins” states that students “shouldn’t” be “hurtful” by saying that sex is biologically determined; one Board Member likened the Parents to “white supremacists” and “xenophobes.” . . . According to the Board, allowing an opt-out “is just telling that kid, ‘here’s another reason to hate another person.’” . . .

Throughout its history, the Catholic Church has refined its doctrine to address the challenges that each age brings. Today, the Church sees the world “is undergoing a profound anthropological crisis, a crisis of meaning.” As such, Pope Francis, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB), and dozens of American bishops have expounded on the Christian view of the human person and why it is incompatible with gender ideology—the belief system endorsed and promoted by the Board.


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