UCC ministries: Texas transgender directive ‘cruel, harmful, morally wrong’
The United Church of Christ’s national ministries and the UCC Open and Affirming Coalition issued the following statement March 1. It came in response to a Feb. 22 directive issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The directive calls on citizens to report the parents of transgender minors to state authorities if it appears the minors are receiving gender-affirming medical care. Texas is 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 condemn the misguided actions of Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, who issued a directive that could criminalize parents and their health care providers who offer gender-affirming medical care for transgender children. These actions are cruel, harmful, and morally wrong.
“Trans and non-binary people are beloved by God. Trans and non-binary people 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 United Church of Christ (UCC) General Synod, the national setting of the UCC is in solidarity with trans and non-binary children and youth, their parents, caregivers, 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.
“In Texas and many other states, trans and non-binary people are under attack by legislators and political leaders, many of whom are exploiting them as political fodder for their election campaigns. The onslaught of these anti-transgender actions continues to foment a culture of fear and mistrust that targets God’s beloved who are already marginalized and vulnerable. It places God’s beloved 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 Gov. Abbott to rescind this onerous, harmful directive, and we call on state legislatures in other states to overturn any anti-transgender legislation that may currently exist in their state and defeat any pending anti-transgender legislation.
“Acting in solidarity with young people, their families, and loved ones who face stigma, experience marginalization, and suffer injustice is integral to realizing the vision of a just world for all. Trans and non-binary children and youth 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
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