Our world has changed. This truth was never more evident when Searyl Atli Doty was born. Searyl, who was born in Canada last November, is considered the world’s first genderless baby. How should we respond?
Now, Searyl was born with genitalia that would identify her as a female. However, her mother, Kori Doty, resisted assigning her baby a gender. In April, the Canadian government issued an ID, which reads “Sex: U,” which advocates “unspecified.” So, technically, though Searyl was born female, she is the first child to receive a genderless government ID card.
Why the Mother Chose Genderless Status
Kori Doty, a non-binary transgender (any gender identity that does not fit the male and female binary) person, explained:
I do not gender my child. It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity. I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth on an inspection of their genitalia.
Kori Doty attempted to get a genderless birth certificate but was unsuccessful. She argued that assigning her baby a gender at birth violated the child’s rights to liberty and security of the person, to freedom of expression and equality under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Doty is one of eight cases in front of the British Columbia Human rights Tribunal. Therefore, the parents are arguing for the removal of gender markers on all new birth certificates. How should Christians think about this situation? Does the Bible help
How Should We Think About Genderless Babies?
We are living in a fascinating era. I don’t pretend to understand all the complexities of this new world of sexual brokenness. Though we are dealing with issues today that we would have never imagined thirty years ago, I think the Bible is still relevant and can help guide our thinking on this matter.
- We live in a broken and fallen world. The fall in the Garden of Eden extends to every part of our lives, including our thoughts about human sexuality (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12). One of the manifestations of our fallenness is attempting to redefine God’s truth regarding human sexuality. Therefore, when we fail to recognize that we filter human sexuality through our brokenness, we will consistently and harshly judge other people. We must compassionately come alongside those who are struggling with sexual brokenness, offering them the love of Jesus, without compromising the truth of Scripture.
- God created human sexuality (Genesis 1:27). He created human beings in his image, as male and female (Genesis 1:27). Gender is not just a biological accident or social construction. Male and female distinctions are part of the goodness and intention of our sovereign God. There are sexual/gender differences. There are differences in strength (1 Peter 3:7), in roles (1 Corinthians 11:3-5; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1), in dress (Deuteronomy 22:5), and in sexual activity (Genesis 1:28). If a child is born with an explicit sexual identification, but the parents resist and attempt to redefine that distinction, they deny God as Creator and the truth of Scripture.
- God intended men and women to complement one another (Genesis 2:18-22; 1 Corinthians 11:11). Therefore, God designed male and female to take pleasure in one another through sexual activity ultimately. He has provided for the full and glad expression of this gift in marriage.
Grace and Truth
Sexuality brokenness is a complex issue, and it’s not going away. We must understand the problem, offer grace and speak the truth of Scriptures. But, may we do so, recognizing our own need to receive grace and hear the truth! Just because we are followers of Jesus does not mean we are immune to brokenness. I know a lot of Christ-followers who are busted and broken, of which I am one. But, we recognize our need to submit their brokenness to the only One who can mend the rips and tears in our hearts. Thus, the only hope for our broken world is the good news of Jesus. May we embody this good news each day.
If you want to understand the issue better and know how to come alongside those who are struggling with sexual brokenness, please consider attending, Caring Well, an upcoming conference hosted by my good friends, Matt and Laurie Krieg.