Trans Pastor To Texas Bathroom Bill Supporters: ‘Stop Using God As An Excuse To Hate People’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/transgender-pastor-texas-bathroom-bill_us_58bfe764e4b0d1078ca263de?section=us_queer-voices

“In the beginning, God created humankind in God’s image. … So God is transgender.”

By Hayley Miller
03/08/2017

A transgender pastor is lashing out against people who cite God as their reason for supporting a controversial Texas bill that aims to prevent trans people from using public bathrooms that correspond best with their gender identity.

The Rev. S. David Wynn, a senior pastor from Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth, Texas, spoke Tuesday to hundreds of LGBTQ advocates protesting the bill outside the state Capitol in Austin.

“In the beginning, God created humankind in God’s image. … So God is transgender, ” Wynn said, to which the crowd roared in approval. “We’re all created in the image of what is holy and divine and sacred, and we should all be treated that way.”

More than 200 people, including Wynn, testified against Senate Bill 6, known as the “Texas bathroom bill,” during a public hearing with the Senate State Affairs Committee that began Tuesday morning and spilled into Wednesday morning.

Despite more than 13 hours of mostly oppositional public testimony, the committee voted Wednesday 7-1 in favor of the proposed legislation. The bill will now advance to the full Senate, where its passage is all but assured. Many senators, including the majority of Republicans and one Democrat, have already voiced support for the bill.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Democratic state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. cited “God’s creation” as one reason he supports the bill.

“God created everything as far as I’m concerned, but especially man and woman,” Lucio said.

Wynn blasted the senator’s message during his address outside the Capitol.

“We’re going to stop using God as an excuse to hate people,” Wynn said of the bill’s religious supporters, before paraphrasing author Anne Lamott. “If God hates all the same people you do, then you’ve created God in your image.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/transgender-pastor-texas-bathroom-bill_us_58bfe764e4b0d1078ca263de?section=us_queer-voices

 

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Wave of Vandalism, Violence Hits LGBTQ Centers Across Nation

From NBC News:  http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/wave-vandalism-violence-hits-lgbtq-centers-across-nation-n732761

When Ruby Corado arrived at her office on Sunday, she found broken glass everywhere, a door ripped off its frame and a shaken staffer.

Corado told NBC News a man had burst into Casa Ruby — the Washington, D.C. drop-in center and advocacy organization for transgender women she founded in 2004 — and demolished a door and physically attacked a trans woman working at the center.

“He grabbed something and threw it at her. It hit her on the arm. Then [he] walked toward her and said, ‘I’m gonna kill you, faggot,'” Corado said. “Everyone was trying to control him. He goes to the door and leaves, then a brick comes flying through the door from the outside.”

This is the third time in just two weeks that men have come to Casa Ruby to harass and attack the transgender women that meet there for support and companionship. And D.C. is not the only city to see its local LGBTQ community center hit by violence or vandalism in recent weeks.

In February and March, a spate of hate incidents occurred at LGBTQ community centers and similar venues across the nation, in a trend that has gone underreported.

On March 6, a drive-by shooting targeted the Tulsa, Oklahoma headquarters of Oklahomans for Equality. The very next day, a man entered the center harassing and threatening staff, reportedly saying “I wish you all would die.” The center’s executive director, Toby Jenkins, told The Tulsa World it was the most serious incident he’d seen in 12 years.

LGBTQ community centers in Los Angeles and Milwaukee were hit with hate graffiti in February, with workers in L.A. arriving to see “F**k Trannies” spray-painted across the walls. Milwaukee’s Diverse & Resilient center was covered in paint reading “Fag.”

The vandalism incidents do not appear to be connected to each other, but several similar attacks occurred at LGBTQ nonprofit offices, bars and at schools.

Churchgoers in New Orleans were startled on Sunday morning when a brick flew through a stained-glass window. Members of the LGBTQ-affirming First Unitarian Church had held a widely publicized town hall on anti-transgender violence less than 48 hours prior to the attack. Rev. Deanna Vandiver told The Times-Picayune the town hall may have “stirred up hate mongering.”

The offices of New Jersey’s Garden State Equality and Orlando’s Equality Florida were both vandalized about a week apart. On February 24, someone smashed the windows at Equality Florida, and two men kicked at the front door of Garden State Equality until it shattered on March 4.

Last Wednesday, police arrested an Indiana man they said threatened to carry out a Pulse-style shooting at a local gay bar. Police said the man entered Olly’s Bar in Indianapolis and told an employee, “I’m going to hold all of you hostage.” He also told police he had a Glock, a machete and a derringer.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/wave-vandalism-violence-hits-lgbtq-centers-across-nation-n732761

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Americans oppose bathroom laws limiting transgender rights: poll

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/americans-oppose-bathroom-laws-limiting-transgender-rights-poll/

Reuters
March 10, 2017

The majority of respondents to a new U.S. poll opposed laws barring transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identities and indicated growing acceptance for gay rights, a nonpartisan research group said on Friday.

Fifty-three percent of the Americans surveyed oppose laws requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth, according to the national poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey showed that 39 percent of respondents favored such laws, and almost one in 10 of the 2,031 adults surveyed in February by telephone had no opinion.

The issue of transgender bathroom rights has become the latest flashpoint in the long U.S. battle over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Significant partisan divisions remain, the survey found. While 65 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents oppose laws limiting transgender bathroom rights, 59 percent of Republicans support the laws, according to the poll. Thirty-six percent of Republicans oppose them.

“This is a case where it really is Republicans kind of pulling away and being more of an outlier to the rest of the country,” said Robert P. Jones, chief executive of the Washington-based group.

The poll results come as Republican leaders in Texas are among those considering whether to follow North Carolina in requiring people to use the bathrooms matching their gender at birth in public schools and government buildings.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week sidestepped a major ruling on whether transgender students are entitled to bathroom choice under federal anti-discrimination law.

That decision followed Republican President Donald Trump’s swift move to rescind a 2016 directive by former Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration to open up bathroom access in U.S. public schools.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/americans-oppose-bathroom-laws-limiting-transgender-rights-poll/

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