On June 1, 2021, Interfaith Alliance joined 60 national civil rights and religious freedom organizations in an open letter calling for the full inclusion of transgender students in educational opportunities and extracurricular programs. More than 30 states have seen the introduction of legislation targeting transgender people in 2021, including a record breaking number of bills aimed at trans youth.
Interfaith Alliance celebrates the inherent dignity and worth of all people, including the many beloved trans members of our faith communities. We recognize that religious traditions approach matters of sexual orientation and gender identity differently. The First Amendment protects these communities from governmental interference in their religious doctrines. But we count on our public institutions to ensure that all of us are treated with respect and have the opportunity to thrive. In a recent op-ed entitled “As a Minister, I’m Fed Up with Anti-Trans Legislation Written By Adults to Pick on Children, All in the Name of Religious Freedom,” Interfaith Alliance President Emeritus Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy writes:
“For many believers, our faiths demand that we join against any attempt at unjust discrimination. Central to a wide variety of faith traditions is the principle of respect and dignity afforded to every person….My commitment to honoring members of the LGBTQ+ community is rooted in scripture, not in spite of it. In fact, across religious traditions, people of faith in this country broadly support laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from attack or discrimination.
While anti-LGBTQ+ activists might be eager to talk about transgender people as a fringe group looking for special treatment, the vast majority of us know better. Trans people exist everywhere. They’re community members, coworkers, neighbors, friends and family. They are God’s people as much as anyone else in the world.”
Signers of the open letter call for state lawmakers to reject efforts to target transgender youth and to reassure all students in the nation’s classrooms that they will have the chance to learn, grow, and thrive. Read the full letter.
Learn more about how Interfaith Alliance works to advance true religious freedom for all.