transgender

Image via RNS/Reuters/Jonathan Drake

A deal has fallen apart to undo the North Carolina law known as the “bathroom bill,” in a sign of the state’s bitter political divide.

The state’s legislature was called into a special session on Dec. 21, to consider repealing the law known as HB2 after months of pressure, including lost jobs and canceled sporting events and concerts.

the Web Editors 12-16-2016

N.C. Democratic governor-elect Ray Cooper.

Hundreds of people gathered in the state's capital during the special session in protest of what they describe as a “power grab.”

 

Austen Hartke 12-09-2016

This week the National Center for Transgender Equality released the findings from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey — the largest survey examining the experience of transgender people in the United States ever completed. The survey examined the experiences of nearly 28,000 people who identify as transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, or who use another term beneath the transgender umbrella.

The people who chose to take part in this landmark survey answered questions about everything from experience with harassment in bathrooms, to level of acceptance from family members, to interactions with law enforcement, to party affiliation and employment status. Although only seven questions on the survey directly address religion and engagement with faith communities, the data presented in the final report can help America’s churches live into their calling as true sanctuaries. People of God, are you listening?

Image via RNS/Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

“Pope Francis has a lot of explaining to do by approving the newest Vatican instruction,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which campaigns for LGBT rights in the church.

“Francis’ famous ‘Who am I to judge?’ statement in 2013 was made in response to a question about gay men in the priesthood,” DeBernardo said. “That response indicated very plainly that he did not have a problem with a gay priest’s sexual orientation.

Image via RNS/Brian Pellot

Amazigh was one of 125 queer Muslim activists and allies who came together for The Inner Circle’s seven-day Annual International Retreat, from Oct. 14 to Oct. 21, in South Africa. The gathering focused on “building a movement towards an all-inclusive and compassion-centered Islam,” a mammoth task for attendees like Amazigh who live in countries where homosexuality and transgender expression are often taboo and criminalized.

A gender-neutral bathroom is seen at the University of California, Irvine in Irvine, California on September 30, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A federal judge in Texas has sided with school districts opposing the Obama administration’s directive on transgender bathrooms, temporarily blocking the directive just before on the first day of school in Texas Monday.

The ruling prevents the U.S. Department of Education from implementing guidance that required school districts to allow transgender students to choose which restroom and locker facilities to use.

the Web Editors 07-21-2016

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The NBA is planning to pull the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, N.C. in protest of the “bathroom bill,” reports Yahoo Sports.

League sources told Yahoo Sports’ The Vertical that a formal announcement could come as soon as this week.

the Web Editors 06-30-2016

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Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced June 30 that the military would no longer disqualify transgender people from serving, effective immediately.

Back in July 2015, the Pentagon began a study to determine what it would take to lift the transgender ban.

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Was it Jesus who said, “No greater love has anyone than this, to sit through a school board meeting?”

No, actually that was me. I whispered it to my wife as we sat together for several hours at a recent meeting of our local school board. On the agenda that evening was the adoption of  a proposed district-wide gender expansive policy to protect transgendered and gender non-conforming students and bring the district in line with the U.S. Department of Education's directive on Title IX and recent legal precedent.

Jesse James DeConto 05-31-2016

Adam Plant receives his master's hood. Image via Red Cardinal Studio / Wake Forest University School of Divinity / RNS

Like other graduates of Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity, Adam Plant walked onstage earlier this month to accept a diploma and a hug from Dean Gail O’Day.

Unlike them, his journey to the Master of Divinity degree took a significant detour.

the Web Editors 05-25-2016

Texas state capitol. Image via  / Shutterstock.com

Eleven states have sued in response to the Obama administration’s May 13 directive to provide transgender students with bathrooms matching their gender identity, reports The Washington Post.

The lawsuit was filed May 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Trevor Barton 05-24-2016

I have been thinking about what it means for me to try to put myself into the shoes of other people, too. When I see someone who is different from me — a transgender person, a Muslim person, a politically conservative person, an 'any kind of different' person — I am tempted to look at that person through a hermeneutic of fear. I either fight against that person or flee from that person. But what if I look at that person through a hermeneutic of empathy? What if I put myself in that person's shoes and walk around? What might happen if I do that?

the Web Editors 05-09-2016

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Facing a Justice Department deadline to throw out the “bathroom bill,” Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina has instead filed suit against the federal government, reports NBC News.

the Web Editors 05-04-2016

The department is giving North Carolina until May 9 to confirm that the state "will not comply with or implement HB2."

Jennifer Bailey 04-22-2016

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His question about God’s love for him caught me by surprise. We never talked about religion. I was, admittedly, the “churchy” one in my group of friends — president of the Junior Usher Board and active in my church youth ministry. Yet even at the age of 17, devoid of theological training, I understood the core inquiry at the root of the question: Could this Christian God that I proclaimed loved us all so much accept Aaron even when so many of this God’s “followers” did not?

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Citing “religious liberty” as a reason for denying one class of citizens bathroom access, equal housing, or services is a human rights violation.

That’s the finding of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency that advises the president and Congress on civil rights matters. The commission issued a statement April 18 saying it “strongly condemns recent state laws passed, and proposals being considered, under the guise of so-called ‘religious liberty’ which target members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community for discrimination.”

the Web Editors 04-13-2016

After significant backlash from both activists and corporations, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) amended a state law that eliminated anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender rights.

 

2014 Moral March in Raleigh, N.C.

2014 Moral March in Raleigh, N.C. EPG_EuroPhotoGraphics / Shutterstock.com

Meeting for a one-day emergency session last week, North Carolina’s General Assembly passed HB2, which has been widely criticized as the nation’s worst anti-LGBT bill. In supposed defense of the general welfare, conservative lawmakers moved to stop a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender citizens to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify. But their call to “protect our women and children” echoes language of the white supremacy campaign that overthrew local governments in this state 120 years ago. Both then and now, the call to defend families against imagined predators is a crude power grab.

Maria Puente 03-28-2016

Gov. Nathan Deal. Image via REUTERS/Tami Chappell/RNS

Was it the Hollywood threat to boycott Georgia or the NFL threat to withhold a Super Bowl?

Gov. Nathan Deal didn’t say as he vetoed a bill on March 28 that a chorus of major studios, sports leagues, and business leaders denounced as legalizing discrimination against gay people.

Austen Hartke 02-22-2016

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For those of us who live outside South Dakota, these issues may seem too far-removed to touch our lives in a meaningful way. But in the Bible we find that our neighbors continue to be our neighbors, regardless of how far away they live. As Christians, we are called to love and work for the good of our neighbor, and as followers of Jesus we are called to protect the most vulnerable. Surely there must be a way to ensure the safety of all of the children in South Dakota’s school system, and not just the majority.

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