Catholic Church wants to protect queer employees more

On the basis of a new labor law, the rights of many queer employees in the Catholic Church are to be more protected. For example, it will be forbidden to terminate a person's employment because of his or her sexual orientation. Nevertheless, there is a small drop of bitterness: transsexual people are not subject to this protection.

But what does the amendment to the "Basic Regulations of Church Service", as recently adopted by the Association of German Dioceses, mean? And who exactly benefits from this?

Catholic Church protects employees

Diversity as enrichment

According to an official statement by the German Bishops' Conference, the diversity that now prevails in church institutions is recognized as "enrichment". This means that employees can represent the church without making distinctions with regard to tasks, origin, religion or sexual identity, among other things.

Nevertheless, there is one condition for working in the church: a "positive basic attitude and openness to the message of the Gospel."

The fact that labor law within the Catholic Church was reformed in this way is the result of intensive efforts. For some time now, there has been discussion about whether and how queer employees could be better protected here in the future.

The regulations that applied until now were often a reason why queer believers decided against working for the Catholic Church from the outset. This was because, until now, anyone who married their same-sex partner risked losing their job. (The same was true for people who divorced and then remarried).

Now, the Catholic Church wants to open up to queer people in the sense that they are entitled to be in the service of the Church quite officially. But unfortunately there is a restriction. Because: trans people are not under the new (labor) protection. A "detail" that is criticized by many.

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Based on the new regulations, what applies to trans people?

With regard to the new provisions, it is noticeable that there is talk of sexual identity, but not gender identity. Rather, the focus is on the equality of women and men working in the service of the church.

And this is exactly what many queers are already bothered about. They are of the opinion that the innovations do not go far enough and that there is still room for improvement.

After all, the new provisions still assume two genders. Therefore, it is not clear whether trans people will also be affected by the new anti-discrimination requirements. Might they even have to continue to fear for their jobs within the Catholic Church? Or are they covered by the new regulations just like other queers and the wording was merely worded in an unfortunate way?

It seems especially important now to stand together as members of the queer community and - as is often the case - support one another.

Many people have been campaigning for a change in labor law

The fact that the labor law of the Catholic Church was changed with regard to a large group of queer employees is no coincidence, but the result of hard work. In the spring of 2022, well over 100,000 people signed in favor of rethinking the Catholic Church's approach to queer employees.

Especially the #outinchurch campaign managed to point out to people who had not yet dealt with the topic in advance that there are definitely many queers who can and want to combine faith and their own identity.

At the time, it was the first time that queer believers and church staff made their voices heard in this way and ensured greater visibility. Among other things, they showed that it is perfectly possible to love the same sex AND be in the service of the church.

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While we are at it, soon there will also be church "marriage for all" in Switzerland

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