Friday, April 28, 2017

Allies In High Places

Sometimes we have some important allies on our side, this time it is down in Texas.
Two hundred faith leaders, opposing bathroom bill, urge equal treatment for gay, transgender Texans
San Antonio Express News
April 27, 2017

AUSTIN - Some 200 ministers, rabbis and other religious leaders wrote to select House members Thursday asking them to support policies that treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans on an equal basis with other people.

The letter went to lawmakers including members of the House State Affairs Committee, which is considering legislation that would restrict the restrooms transgender people can use. The religious leaders didn’t confine their message to the bathroom bill, although they cited it among other legislation.

“Our faith compels us to oppose anti-transgender legislation (‘bathroom bills), discriminatory laws masquerading as “religious freedom,” or any other attempts to treat Texas’ LGBT community as second-class citizens,” said the letter from Texas Believes, which according to its website is a project of the Texas Freedom Network and Equality Texas.
And get a load of this…
“We will continue to speak out against all attempts to use religion to demonize, discriminate against or bring harm to our LGBT sisters and brothers. And we encourage you, as leaders in our state, to support policies that treat all Texans equally under the law, including the LGBT community,” said the letter.
Many trans people are looking for a religion that affirms their gender and makes them welcome in the congregation.
Transgender people looking for welcoming faith communities
The Columbus Dispatch
By Danae King
April 28, 2017

For many transgender people, faith communities are a place of judgment and rejection. For Marilyn Lloyd, they are a place of possibility.

Lloyd, 62, and a transgender woman, found God at North Congregational United Church of Christ on the Northwest Side. God and the church filled a void in Lloyd’s life she didn’t know was there, and now she hopes to help others fill the same void.

Lloyd will often ask transgender friends if they would go to church if they could find one that accepts their gender identity. If the answer is yes, she goes on the hunt for a church, testing each by its reaction to her.

Although churches are becoming more accepting of transgender people, she said, it’s no easy task.
“A faith community that is a safe haven can be an incredible gift to any marginalized community,” Tanis [Justin Tanis, managing director at the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion in Berkeley, California] said.

Lloyd is an example of that. She said she doesn’t know where she’d be without her church and the community it has provided.
We hear a lot about far right wing religious conservatives attacking our right s to exist, well there are many more that support us. When we passed the non-discrimination law here in Connecticut we had several dozen churches that support us including an Episcopal Bishop who came and testify in favor of our bill.

The news media survives on conflict, they love the religious right with their fire and brimstone preaching and the media doesn’t want someone who believes in our human rights. So don’t put down all religions there are so many that support us. I know several trans clergy that are out to their parishes.

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