Parents Defeat Gender Ideology in Paraguay

By Marianna Orlandi, Ph.D. | October 19, 2017

“We respect diversity, but this does not mean we must support gender ideology,” said Paraguay Minister of Education, Enrique Riera, earlier this month.  Mr. Riera’s words accompanied a resolution by his ministry, which explicitly prohibits the diffusion and the adoption of didactic materials based on gender theory or gender ideology in the country’s public schools.

This resolution came as an answer to public protests by local pro-family and pro-life NGOs. Their representatives, speaking on behalf of Paraguay’s parents, complained some didactic materials claimed, “gender is a social construct.” They asked their government for clarifications, since Article 52 of Paraguay’s Constitution establishes that “The union in matrimony of a man and a woman is one of the fundamental components in the formation of a family.”

According to Minister Riera, gender ideology made its way in the country’s public school thanks to an agreement between the former government and the LGBT group, “Somos gay” (We are gay). However, “I want to tell you that the Ministry of Education is based on Article 52 of the Constitution, on the traditional family, on traditional values, with a father, a mother, children,” Riera said. “This is also my personal position,” he added.

In another venue, the Minister acknowledged gender Ideology, “is a political issue affecting the whole world, but as Paraguayan we have a clear picture: father, mother, and children. There is no other way to say it.”

Several LGBT groups immediately reacted to the resolution, including Amnesty International. The latter claimed this decision is “a step backwards” for human rights, and “violates Paraguay’s international obligations.”

In fact, no UN treaty speaks of “gender theory.” There is no international obligation whatsoever saying States should teach children that they can choose their gender regardless of their biological sex.

Such teachings, moreover, stem from a theory (the so called “gender theory”), and not from hard science. These messages are likely to jeopardize children’s health and well-being, as they do not take into account children’s physical, mental, and emotional immaturity and their need for parental care and guidance. This guidance is particularly crucial in the areas of love, affection, and human sexuality.

Nonetheless, Amnesty International accused Paraguay’s government to be the victim of religious convictions (and of the Church), and claimed constitutional and international prohibitions of unjust discrimination to justify the promotion of gender theory.

“La Izquierda,” a national leftist newspaper, argued that gender theory should be taught in public school to combat teenage and child pregnancies. It remains unclear why a theory that predicates women can be men, and vice versa, would be useful in avoiding children’s premature sex and preventing unwanted pregnancies.

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