Some Christian leaders say it's an 'abomination' to use the Bible to cause harm with anti-trans laws
- The religious right has taken a staunch stance against LGBTQ rights amid a wave of anti-trans legislation.
- They've quoted the Bible, referring to "God's good design of males and females and heterosexuality."
Many on the religious right call members of the LGBTQ community an "abomination," using Biblical scriptures to justify their stance against queer and transgender rights and inclusion.
But some within the Christian community have flipped the script, saying the real "abomination" is threatening people's lives with anti-LGBTQ laws and policies.
"As a Christian leader, it's horrifying to me that Christianity and the Bible are being used by the religious right to bludgeon people through these many bills," Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, the president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, told The Associated Press.
Jones, the first woman to lead the UTS, was previously the president of the American Academy of Religion, another LGBTQ-inclusive organization.
"To use religious language like that is an abomination," Jones added.
Rev. Pat Langlois, senior pastor of Metropolitan Community Church United Church of Christ in the Valley, echoed Jones' thoughts to the AP.
"These bills are the most vitriolic and cruel legislation I've seen," Langlois told the outlet. "I have a non-binary teenager, so I take this really personally, not just as a person of faith and as a lesbian, but as a mom."
Unlike Jones and Langlois, many church leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention and the Catholic Church have been instrumental in the crusade against LGBTQ acceptance and inclusion for decades. Pope Francis, who has said the Church cannot recognize same-sex marriage, has denounced anti-gay laws. That stance has drawn criticism from conservative Catholics for his positions.
And in 2021, the Southern Baptist Convention campaigned against the Equality Act – a bill that included protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation – saying it went against "God's good design of males and females and heterosexuality as clearly expressed in Scripture."
Jones told the AP that transgenderism "wasn't something that the Bible even thought about."
"The larger message there is a message of love and inclusion," Jones said.
Conservative lawmakers across the country have cited Biblical scriptures to support their bills targeting trans healthcare and inclusion in public life.
Texas Rep. Steve Toth, who is an ordained minister, spearheaded a bill to make it a felony offense to provide minors with gender-affirming care.
"They are threatening the lives and well-being of so many people around the US and the world," Jones told the AP.
American Civil Liberties Union is watching a total of 474 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country this legislative session, representing a wave of conservative legislative interest in restricting queer and trans rights.
The number of anti-LGBTQ bills has doubled since 2021 and multiplied eight-fold since 2020, Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America , said in a statement in March.
"The language in many of these bills attacks the humanity of trans and nonbinary people, often erasing the dignity that should be afforded to everyone," Eaton said.
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