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I was recently invited to speak at a local city council meeting for a proclamation in favor of Transgender Day of Visibility. This was the second time this proclamation has been presented to the mayor of this city, who has the sole power to grant or deny such proclamations. 

I was told before the meeting that the mayor comes from a conservative Christian point of view, which has led him to deny the proclamation. Because of this, I wanted to describe why the Christian faith has led me to affirm my transgender siblings. I also wanted to describe why the Constitution of the United States leads me to affirm them, too. After reading my remarks, I would love to know what you think! Please feel free to comment at the Raven Foundation Facebook page. If you would like more on this topic, check out One Question with Pastor Adam: What Does God Say about Transgender People below!

Esteemed mayor and esteemed council members, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about this proclamation.

I come to you as a pastor, a leader in the Christian church. And I come to you as a citizen of the United States.

In my capacity as a pastor and as a citizen, I stand with my transgender siblings in requesting that you adopt this resolution.

Some Christians refer to the creation story in Genesis to say that God created male and female and thus God does not create transgender people.

In that story we are told that God separated the light from dark and the land from the sea. But we know that’s not the whole story. Even though God separated the light from the dark, we know that the dusk and dawn exist. And even though God separated the land from the sea, we know that the marsh exists. And even though God created male and female, we know that our transgender siblings do exist.

Thank God for the beauty in creation of light and dark, of dusk and dawn. Thank God for the beauty of land and sea and of the marsh. And thank God for the beauty of male and female and of our transgender siblings.

In fact, the Bible, in the original languages, never uses the term “transgender.” And Jesus never spoke about the topic. But Jesus did say that the most important command in all of scripture is to love God and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. That means all of our neighbors, including our transgender neighbors. In loving our transgender neighbors, in acknowledging their presence with us in this proclamation, we fulfill the commandment Jesus gave us.

Which leads me to why I am here as a citizen of the United States. Our constitution begins with the most important words written in any secular document, “We the people.” It is impossible to overstate the significance of those words.

When those words were written in the 18th century, the term “We the people” meant people like me. White, land-owning males. But over time, the term became more inclusive. “We the people” began to include black men and women. And one of the things I love about being part of “We the people” is that we do seek to form a more perfect union where “We the people” literally means all of the people.

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