Kiley Crossland/WORLD

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High school sports & transgender athletes

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into a Connecticut high school sports policy that allows athletes who identify as transgender to compete against the opposite biological sex. The families of three female high school track athletes complained in June to the Education Department's Office of Civil Rights that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy discriminates against them.

State agency’s transgender ideology and foster families

TOPEKA, Kan. (BP) -- The child welfare agency in Kansas reportedly wants foster parents to affirm the gender identities of transgender children. But the move could significantly decrease the number of available families in a state with a record-high number of foster children. Under the direction of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) distributed a document to child-placing agencies ahead of a regularly scheduled meeting in July. The informal three-page paper defined a handful of controversial terms, including gender expression, gender identity, and transgender.

Calif. parents fighting new sex ed guidelines

SACRAMENTO, Calif.(BP) -- The California State Board of Education voted unanimously earlier this month to approve a controversial new health curriculum framework for schools and health textbooks despite pushback from parents claiming the recommendations expose children to graphic, pornographic and harmful information. The framework, more than 700 pages long, will overhaul sexual education in the state's public schools by setting new standards for health textbooks and for teachers who instruct students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The material covers everything from nutrition and substance abuse to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Intercountry adoption numbers hit new low

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. families plunged again last year, according to data the U.S. State Department released last month. Intercountry adoptions declined by 14 percent, from 4,714 children in 2017 to 4,059 in 2018. The 2018 number is down 82 percent from a high of more than 22,000 in 2004.

Colo. sex education bill plugs LGBT experimentation

DENVER, Colo. (BP) -- A bill working its way through the Colorado legislature would make it illegal for schools to teach sexual education programs that encourage abstinence and instead mandate programs that include information on LGBT relationships and sex. Despite pushback from parents and pro-family groups who argue the law threatens local control and parental rights, the measure is expected to pass this session.

Church of England’s new ‘gender transition service’

ENGLAND (BP) -- The Church of England issued pastoral guidance last month instituting a new "gender transition service," a move conservative Anglicans decried as contrary to the Bible. The guidance, published Dec. 11 and approved by the House of Bishops, the upper house of the tricameral Church of England General Synod, laid out a model for a "celebratory" service to mark the church's official recognition of a person as a sex different from that of his or her birth.

‘Drag Queen Story Hours’ to ‘teach’ kids

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- Public libraries across the country are hosting drag performers for children's story hours this month. What started as a one-off 2015 event in San Francisco has become a national movement of libraries hiring men dressed as women to read books and sing songs with children, all advertised as kid-friendly exposure to gender fluidity. The events happen year-round, but more libraries are hosting story hours as part of their June LGBT Pride Month events. Libraries and bookstores in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont are hosting the "Drag Queen Story Hours."

Judge sides with transgender teen

GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. (BP) -- A federal judge on Tuesday (May 22) said a Virginia school board violated the rights of a transgender teen by requiring that all students use the restroom corresponding to their biological gender. U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen declined to hear the Gloucester County School Board's request to dismiss the case, arguing the board violated former student Gavin Grimm's rights under the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause and the federal Title IX protections against gender-based discrimination.

Gender dysphoria: Ohio bill protects parental rights

CINCINNATI, Ohio (BP) -- State legislators in Ohio last week introduced a bill that would protect parents who do not want their children to undergo treatment for gender dysphoria. The bill, sponsored by Republican state Reps. Tom Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger, affirms the fundamental right of parents to "withhold consent for gender dysphoria treatment or activities that are designed and intended to form a child's conception of sex and gender."

Therapy bans, the new battlefield

OLYMPIA, Wash. (BP) -- In the last few weeks, at least four states have taken action on laws barring therapists from counseling individuals about their sexual orientation or gender identity, other than to encourage homosexuality or transgenderism. Supporters of the laws argue the bans protect people from ineffective and abusive methods while contending sexual orientation and gender identity are fixed and efforts to change them result in repression and shame.