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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Faith Leaders Must Support Trans Siblings; Reject Religious Bigotry
From a Metropolitan Community Churches press release
2017-12-21

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Metropolitan Community Church ( MCC ) leaders joined other LGBTQ faith leaders by signing a declaration challenging a religious coalition of Catholic, Evangelical, and Fundamentalist groups who have not done their biblical homework nor read science or medical research on the nature of gender.

The letter denies the very existence of transgender people by calling them "false."

"The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling. It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation.

MCC Interim Moderator, Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, said, "The statement from religious leaders diminishing transgender persons denies God's power and authority in the creation of a beautifully diverse humanity."

The letter from LGBTQ faith leaders challenges the coalition to expand their awareness of God's vast humanity and connect with the transgender community they are erasing.

"As leaders from a wide range of moderate and progressive faith and spiritual communities, we reject the intent of the letter to deny the existence of our beloved transgender Companions. … [W]e implore those religious leaders who signed the ill-conceived, trans-denying letter, Created Man and Woman, to reach out and connect with transgender people — you obviously know little about their lives, struggles, victories and aspirations. You will learn a lot about God's creative genius if you walk and talk with transgender folk and really listen to their stories."

MCC supports transgender people. Frightened religious leaders can retreat to arcane ideas about gender, but as they do, they contribute to the ongoing violence against gender nonconforming, transgender, and intersex persons. Transgender women are more likely to be murdered than any other group in the United States. This violent, religious bigotry from faith leaders is exacerbated by Trump's mandate this week to ban the use of the word "transgender" by anyone in the Center for Disease Control ( CDC ).

Enough! MCC urges these religious leaders who claim to be Bible-believing Christians to go back to the Bible! Thousands of years ago biblical scribes wrote the account of Adam and Eve with distinct but overlapping genders. In short, Adamah was a mud creature formed by God with an amorphous gender until Eve was extracted from Adamah's side. The female was in the male and the male is in the female.

Right now, transgender women are sitting in male prisons where they can be raped, murdered, or forced into cruel solitary confinement that is usually reserved for heinous crimes. Transgender people in the military are still in limbo as Trump's ban on transgender people in the military is in the courts.

MCC calls on all faith leaders with a conscience to speak out. Find out if hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people are being documented in your city and state. Support transgender advocacy groups with your donations. Hire trans people or help them find jobs—one of the most challenging realities for trans people is getting and staying employed. Make bathrooms in your churches, schools, restaurants, and government buildings gender neutral. ( Many of them already are. ) Educate yourself on transgender realities, and don't expect to be comfortable. Expanding our gender concepts is not easy. Don't give up. Lives depend on you and all of us stepping up.

To understand some of the legal realities faced by trans people, the Trans Legal Mapping Report from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association ( ILGA ) is now available online now in English: trans-legal-mapping-report. The 2017 report covers legal gender recognition laws, policies and administrative processes around the world, and this year it includes information on 111 countries and 13 territories. The Spanish version will be online very soon


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