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Baltimore Yearly Meeting Minute on Transgender Rights
At its interim meeting for business in June, Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) adopted this minute supporting civil and human rights of transgender people, and hopes that other yearly meetings will join in that support.
Minute on the Civil and Human Rights of Transgender People
Baltimore Yearly Meeting has long celebrated diversity in our community. See, for example, the chapter on Diversity in the proposed 2013 Faith and Practice (pages 71–75). This includes diversity in respect of gender identity.
Since the November 2016 elections, we have witnessed a growing backlash against transgender people in the United States. The Trump administration has taken numerous steps weakening protection for transgender people in such areas as military service, prison assignment, health care, employment, schooling, and policing.
It is particularly important for us as people of faith to testify that our religious experience leads us to love, acceptance, and nondiscrimination, and to support the civil rights of these friends and family members. For these reasons, we bring the following proposed minute:
Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) rejoices in the presence of transgender people in our midst. Our transgender members enrich our community and deepen our worship. We believe that there is that of God in everyone and everyone has gifts to bring to the world. Whenever anyone is excluded, God’s ability to work in our midst is diminished.
We commit ourselves to support the civil and human rights of our transgender members and all transgender people. No one should face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, or otherwise, or have their dignity assaulted and their human rights curtailed because of their gender identity.