By Susan Payne
At an All Saints Church in Pasadena lrecently, a coalition of faith communities discussed concerns about a proliferation of legislation that impacts transgender people and denounced anti-transgender agenda in a press conference.
“We are deeply concerned about the growing number of anti-transgender bills being introduced in state legislatures across the country,” said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, California. “These bills are based on fear and ignorance, and they are putting transgender people at risk. We call on our elected officials to reject these hateful measures and to stand up for the rights of all people.”
Faith leaders from various denominations gathered on the national “Transgender Day of Visibility” to proclaim support for the transgender and LGBTQ community, according to Pasadena Now.
Many faither leaders spoke out, including Reverend Mike Kinman, the rector at All Saints. He quoted a Greek bishop who said, “the glory of God is a human being come fully alive.”
“We are here today to say that transgender people are fully alive, and that their lives are sacred,” Kinman said. “We stand with them in solidarity, and we will fight for their rights.”
Another leader, Jonathan Quinn, chair of the All Saints Episcopal Pasadena LGBTQ Ministry, spoke out during the gathering alongside his partner.
“I’m afraid about the free practice of religion of trans people, and how that might be affected by a lot of this new anti-trans legislation … I’m finding a lot to be afraid of these days, but as a person of faith, I believe that fear must not be given the last word. As a Christian, I believe that God created trans people to show the world their own holiness, joy and love.”
Together, the coalition called on faith leaders to speak out against anti-transgender rhetoric and policies, Pasadena Now reported.
“We urge all faith leaders to use their voices to speak out against hate and discrimination,” said Rev. Jennifer Yen, executive director of the Los Angeles Queer Interfaith Clergy Council. “We must stand together in love and compassion, and we must create a world where all people are safe and affirmed.”
This press conference gathered in response to the transgender rights under attack across the nation, including bills that would ban transgender students from using the bathrooms that correspond with their gender.
Rabbi Karen Bender said, “As a mommy, as a parent of a child that is trans, it’s my passion to walk with them, as they discover their true selves, and all I’m asking as a parent is that to allow that to happen, to have the freedom to discover who they really are.”