National Weekend of Prayer for transgender justice

I'm a little late on this...mainly because I didn't know about it until last night.

From the website:

The Supreme Court may not hear Gavin Grimm's case this March, but faith communities are not waiting for the Court to take action. The current environment of intolerance toward transgender people, implicitly condoned by the top levels of government, is having direct impacts on transgender communities. Transgender women of color are paying for it with their lives. Transgender students are being denied access to basic facilities. All while state legislators across the country are filing harmful anti-transgender bills.

People of faith will not be silent. On March 24-26, faith communities across the country will join together to pray for transgender justice.

The National Weekend of Prayer has been a recurring project of the Religious Institute, in response to U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning sexual and gender justice. Past national weekends of prayer have focused on access to abortion and the freedom to marry. Although these weekends of prayer have focused on Supreme Court cases, we recognize the inherent disparity around who gets chosen to represent various communities as plaintiffs in such cases, and the role that privilege and respectability play in such decisions.

We hold Gavin Grimm in love and prayer, as no teenager should be asked to shoulder the burden that he has taken on, and we also recognize that day in and day out, the suffering of transgender people, particularly those who are women, people of color, youth, elders, disabled, and undocumented, goes unnoticed by the mainstream. So when the Supreme Court decided not to hear Gavin’s case, we decided to broaden the scope of prayer that was already in motion. Given the real impact of oppression and violence on the lives of trans people, every day needs to be a day of prayer for transgender justice.

This weekend, religious leaders, clergy, and people of faith from more 125 congregations in more than 30 states will participate in the National Weekend of Prayer for Transgender Justice, dedicating their weekly services and/or holding special events to support transgender people across America who continue to lack full legal protection, face unequal treatment, and experience disproportionate levels of violence, harassment, and discrimination.

As people of faith and conscience, we oppose the use of religion to harm transgender people, and we recognize our responsibility to articulate a different moral vision. We believe that ‘religious freedom’ means the freedom to practice our faith, not deny other people their rights or impose our beliefs on others. We know that gender is a complex and sacred gift, and that the breathtaking diversity of Creation is to be honored, not questioned or denied. We know that gender diversity has played a role in faith traditions and religious texts dating back centuries, and that transgender people serve as faith leaders in many traditions and bring forward powerful spiritual gifts.

--Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey, President and CEO of the Religious Institute

This is neither the first, nor the last time the needs of trans and gender non-conforming people will be dismissed, and far too often religion gets used as justification. At a time when violence against transgender people is on the rise, particularly against transgender women of color and transgender youth, and a record number of anti-transgender bills are being filed at the state level, faith communities have a unique responsibility and opportunity in this moment not only to direct their energies toward creating spaces that honor the fullness of trans people’s lives, but also to refuse to fall in line with religious rhetoric that seeks to do harm to people for living into the truths of who they are.

--Teo Drake, Transforming Hearts Collective

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