Written by Connie Larkman
The United Church of Christ national officers, in partnership with the Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ are expressing support from the faith community for the bold public stance the Obama Administration has taken to protect the rights of transgender youth who deserve equal protection under the law in schools and other places.
In a statement sent to the White House on Monday May 16, the UCC leaders applaud the joint Department of Justice and Department of Education decision to put every single public and private educational institution receiving federal funds on notice that they intend to interpret and enforce Title IX — a statute, written in 1972, that prohibits sex discrimination — as also prohibiting discrimination on the basis of "gender identity, including discrimination based on a student's transgender status."
Here is the text of that statement from the United Church of Christ national officers:
UCC Statement of solidarity with the joint 'significant guidance' letter regarding Title IX and transgender students
Grounded in the belief that every person is endowed by God with worth and dignity that human judgement cannot set aside and with the strong witness within our own communion of a deepening hospitality and the enriching of our church's life and mission through the ministries of transgender members, we, leaders of the United Church of Christ, stand in solidarity with the joint letter of "significant guidance" from the U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (DOE) on Title IX obligations regarding transgender students.
We strongly agree that schools should "treat a student's gender identity as the student's sex" and "that a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity." We applaud the DOJ and DOE for affirming a core tenet of civil rights: that you cannot allow the discomfort of some to "justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students." We support the person-centered approach that protects the privacy of student records and gives agency to students regarding their gender identity and decisions about disclosure.
We commit to giving ongoing leadership in advocating for the human and civil rights of transgender people. Our pledge as citizens is to "liberty and justice for all" and a primary commitment of our faith is to love without condition. As we continue our journey, we invite others to join us in learning about the realities of gender identity and expression through the stories and witness of people who are transgender.
The National Officers of the United Church of Christ
Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President
Rev. James Moos, Executive Minister of Wider Church Ministries
Rev. Traci Blackmon, Acting Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries
The Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ
Andrew Lang, Executive Director