A teacher has been placed on leave because he refused to call a transgender student by their correct pronouns.
Gym teacher Byron 'Tanner' Cross was disciplined in Virginia after telling the Loudoun County school board that he would not 'affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa'.
Cross believes using someone's preferred pronouns can 'damage' them and 'defile the holy image of God'.
He said: "I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria,' he said, adding, 'I'm a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it's against my religion.
"It's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it's sinning against our God."
Cross cited his religious beliefs during the disciplinary hearing and also pointed towards a 60 Minutes episode about young Americans who regretted transitioning.
The school board decided to place him on administrative leave him with pay and the school's principal was not involved in the decision making
An email and letter has been sent out to the parents, which said: "I'm contacting you to let you know that one of our physical education teachers, Tanner Cross, is on leave beginning this morning... Because this involves a personnel matter, I can offer no further information."
Cross' beliefs go against the Loudoun County Public School board's official position on transgender students, which says 'staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student's permanent educational record'.
The 60 Minutes episode about people who are 'de-transitioning' was also slammed by LGBTQIA+ advocates for spreading misinformation.
GLAAD, an advocacy organisation for the rainbow community, said in a statement: "Tonight @60Minutes @LesleyRStahl aired a shameful segment fearmongering about trans youth.
"Parents of trans youth could walk away with the false belief that young people are being rushed into medical transition. That is simply untrue.
"As the piece noted, every major medical association supports affirming, age-appropriate care for trans youth and the guidelines for that care are safe and well-established. And yet, the majority of the story was devoted to 'raising concerns' about youth accessing that care."
GLAAD said it was 'poor journalism and a disservice to viewers' because the programme failed 'to disclose that a person profiled in the story is the president of a group that actively seeks to limit affirming transition-related healthcare'.
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