In a week when three Black trans women were killed, this administration has done nothing to address the violence and discrimination facing Black trans women or LGBTQ people more broadly. Instead, this week, President Trump has announced multiple policies that heighten hostility against queer and trans folks.
Wednesday, the administration released a draft rule allowing homeless shelters and other recipients of federal housing money to turn away transgender people. These are life-saving shelters, especially when you consider that in the U.S. one third of transgender people report experiencing homelessness at some point. Today, Friday, May 24, the administration issued another draft rule that would roll back a provision in Affordable Care Act (Section 1557) that prohibits discrimination against transgender people seeking health care or people seeking reproductive health care. Again today, in a statement to a journalist, the administration also shared that it plans to make it easier for adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples. All of this comes after, earlier this month, the administration finalized a rule expanding the ability of health providers to discriminate against patients based on religious or moral beliefs—allowing them put their religious or moral beliefs before patient needs
At this point, it should be clear that the Trump-Pence administration is waging an all-out assault on LGBTQ people. We’ve seen that throughout this presidency and acutely this week. Their policies threaten the dignity, safety, and the very lives of LGBTQ people—especially transgender & gender non-conforming people. This is shameful and immoral.
Given their sheer volume, it is easy to become accustomed or numb to these pernicious attacks. We cannot give in to this complacency. As people of faith committed to the full liberation of all people, we must decry these injustices, lament the pain caused by this administration’s policies, and bind up the wounds of those hurting in our communities. At the same time, we must call for a better world—one that embraces the sacred dignity, God-given worth, and belovedness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and gender-nonconforming people—and endeavor to make that world possible, beginning in our own communities.
“We will not abide this administration’s attacks on LGBTQ people, because we refuse to accept a world where transphobia, heterosexism, and patriarchy have the final say,” said Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey, president and CEO of the Religious Institute. “The brilliance of our religious traditions and of our queer and trans communities is in our willingness to imagine and work toward a more humane world. The Trump-Pence administration wants to dehumanize, belittle, and attack anyone they see as other: transgender people seeking health care, same-sex couples hoping to adopt, or women seeking abortion care. People of faith must see these tactics for what they are and reject this administration’s cruelty and immorality. Most of all, we must build a world where these attacks have ceased and where they are understood as morally and theologically unconscionable. We must take up this work from the pulpit, in the pews, during pastoral care, and protesting on the streets.”