The national leaders of the United Church of Christ are adding their voices to the growing list of corporate executives, community leaders and human rights advocates calling for the repeal of the North Carolina law restricting the legal rights of transgender people.
In a statement released today opposing the nation's first state law limiting bathroom options for transgender people, the UCC officers noted "these laws seek to reinforce a culture of oppression and intolerance that needs to be resisted" and pledged to "continue to signal our strong and clear support for all people, and to oppose any attempts to erode through discriminatory actions and laws the rights of any person."
Here is the text of their statement:
With every expansion of legal rights for some comes the reaction by others who, in an attempt to protect their former privileges, try and take those newly confirmed legal rights away. We’ve seen this dynamic with the expansion of rights for ethnic groups, religious groups, workers, children, women, the impoverished, the imprisoned, immigrants, and on and on. It is a reactive attempt to set the clock backward to a time when the oppression of some is ignored in order to protect the comfort of others.
In recent months, there has been a wave of laws seeking to roll back the rights of people whose gender identity and/or expression is outside of the strict male/female gender binary.There has been a wave of laws proposed in state legislatures seeking to roll back the rights of gay, lesbian and bisexual people. Each newly proposed law seems to contain more oppressive and retrograde elements than the one that came before it. The one that was implemented last week in North Carolina is an example of the egregious atrocities that lawmakers will stoop to in order to protect privilege and enact codify discrimination.
Regardless of the fact that these laws are unlikely to be pass constitutional muster, we cannot silently stand by as these laws are proposed. These laws seek to reinforce a culture of oppression and intolerance that needs to be resisted, not encouraged. The fact that many of those who propose these laws are using religious language makes it very important that those of us within the religious community who oppose these laws do not remain silent.
As members of the Collegium of Officers for the United Church of Christ, an Open and Affirming denomination, we want to make our position clear.
• We reject and stand in opposition to laws that seek to marginalize, oppress and dehumanize transgender and non-binary gender conforming people.
• We reject and stand in opposition to laws that seek to marginalize, oppress and dehumanize the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
• We will stand up to the bullies whenever and wherever we can.
• We will continue to signal our strong and clear support for all people, and to oppose any attempts to erode through discriminatory actions and laws the rights of any person.
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
The Rev. Traci D. Blackmon
Acting Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries
The Rev. James A. Moos
Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries
The Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries