UCC ministries: Alabama anti-trans legislation ‘outrageous’
The United Church of Christ’s national ministries and the UCC Open and Affirming Coalition issued the following statement April 7. It comes in response to a criminal ban on health care for trans youth that the Alabama legislature just passed. Alabama is the latest but not the only state attacking the rights of trans citizens. In addition to various anti-trans laws enacted in 2021, at least 13 states are now considering more. Their effects range from restricting medical care to prohibiting sports participation.
The National Ministries of the United Church of Christ and the United Church of Christ Open and Affirming Coalition strongly oppose anti-trans legislation in Alabama. This includes S.B 184, which threatens to criminalize doctors and health care providers who offer gender-affirming medical care for transgender children, as well as parents and guardians who support such care for their children. This also includes H.B. 322, which bans transgender students from using bathrooms and other school facilities that align with their gender identity. It also bans any acknowledgment of sexual orientation or gender identity in classrooms from kindergarten through fifth grade. These bills are cruel, harmful, and morally wrong. It is an outrage that these bills have passed the Alabama legislature and we call on Governor Kay Ivey to immediately veto them.
People of trans and nonbinary experience are beloved by God. They are among the neighbors Jesus commanded his followers to love and treat with worth and dignity that human judgment cannot set aside. In alignment with numerous actions of the UCC General Synod, the national setting of the UCC is in solidarity with trans and nonbinary children and youth, their parents, guardians, caregivers, doctors, and health care providers. We love you and support you. We affirm the agency and rights of trans youth and their parents to make decisions together about the gender-affirming medical care they need, and the freedom of certified medical professionals to offer those gender-affirming, and in many cases life-saving, medical services. We affirm that persons of trans and nonbinary experience should be free to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.
In Alabama, Texas, Ohio, Arkansas, Missouri, and other states, trans and non-binary people are under attack by legislators and political leaders with an onslaught anti-transgender legislation that continues to foment a culture of fear and mistrust targeting God’s beloved who are already marginalized and vulnerable. It places them in harm’s way, elevating the risks of violence, experiences of despair, and injury to their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Moreover, these efforts are contrary to the recommendations of every major credible medical association regarding evidence/science-based, age-appropriate, care standards for transgender youth and adults.
We call on all citizens to act in solidarity with people of trans and nonbinary experience, their families, and loved ones who face stigma, experience marginalization, and suffer injustice. Such solidarity is integral to realizing the vision of a just world for all. Children and youth of trans and nonbinary experience have a right — as all children and youth do — to be protected from all forms of cruelty, neglect, and exploitation; to develop spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally; and to live in conditions of freedom and dignity.
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer General Minister and President United Church of Christ Andrew Lang Executive Director United Church of Christ Open and Affirming Coalition
Read the statement from Southeast Conference United Church of Christ denouncing legislation against people who are transgender.
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