More Light Presbyterians is taking a stand with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) against the efforts of far-right groups in California who have set their sights on attacking recently won rights for transgender students. If successful, repealing these rights sets a dangerous precedent that we know is likely to be copied around the country. This is a move right out of the anti-gay playbook written by Anita Bryant during Harvey Milk’s time, and one that could begin a roll-back of the progress of transgender civil rights a generation. To stand against these attacks you can sign up to pledge your support here:
Right now, far-right groups in California have targeted Assembly Bill No. 1266, a law requiring that students be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on their records. According to the Los Angeles Times, a far-right coalition has mounted a drive to repeal the measure in the 2014 general election. They have already collected 500,000 signatures of the roughly 700,000 they need to get a repeal of AB 1266 on the ballot, and the deadline is fast-approaching.
Sadly, many of organizations targeting transgender people with hate also call themselves Christian. As one example, the Pacific Justice Institute, an organization that sees itself defending religious freedom, has been stirring up unwarranted fears and lies about trans youth to generate signatures for the repeal of AB 1266. They recently made up the story about a transgender student at Florence High School in Colorado allegedly harassing girls in the locker room. We know this is an age-old fear tactic used by such groups but they took it to a new level when they lied about an actual incident occurring. The story spread widely in the media but was quickly debunked by Cristan Williams at The TransAdvocate when speaking to the school’s Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti who responded, “to our knowledge and based on our investigation, none of those things have actually happened.”
As More Light Presbyterians we understand gender identity and expression to be another facet of God’s good, diverse creation. Further we will not allow another misuse of Christianity to attack children and adults seeking to live as God called them. Will you join us in opposing the repeal of AB 1266 by signing this pledge at the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Sign the pledge here:
Photo: This sticker on a coffee shop in Chicago was placed there by the T-Friendly Bathroom Initiative, an independent initiative to make restrooms in Chicago and beyond safe to gender-variant people.