Senior Christian and Jewish faiths leaders unite to condemn ‘sad’ attacks on trans people and call for an end to hateful rhetoric
Faith leaders from the Church of England and Reform Judaism have come together to support the trans community and condemn the use of the term “transgender ideology”.
The bishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Paul Bayes, and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, senior rabbi to Reform Judaism, released a joint statement, shared exclusively with PinkNews, in response to an article by The Telegraph headlined “‘Niche’ transgender ideology ‘corrosive’ to society, says report”.
The article covered a report by influential right-wing think tank Civitas which claimed to outline the so-called “corrosive impact of transgender ideology” and cited anti-trans lobbying groups as sources to justify its assertions about trans rights.
Bishop Bayes and Rabbi Janner-Klausner said: “We have noted with sadness the increasing use of the term ‘transgender ideology’.
“As faith leaders, we believe that trans people, like every other person, have every right to be cherished, and protected by society and in the gender in which they choose to live.
“Our faith compels us to speak up for those on the margins, those whom others would seek to silence or misrepresent.
“We believe that the time is long overdue for a softening of the rhetoric in this area of our common life, so that trans people may indeed be seen as people, people who long to live their lives without prejudice or fear.
“The world is far richer for their contribution and they are, and should be treated as, treasured members of our society.
“We ask people to join with us in finding a new way of discussing these important issues — one that looks to build up rather than destroy, and to honour rather than denigrate.”
Bishop Bayes is the chair of the Ozanne Foundation, which works with religious organisations around the world to support LGBT+ people and recently marked the end of Pride Month by launching the UK’s first inter-religious advisory board focused on fighting discrimination.
Rabbi Janner-Klausner represents Judaism on the advisory board, and said this week when it launched: “I am deeply concerned about the nature of the dialogue around single-sex spaces, and hope that we can find a more empathetic tone when discussing proposals that directly affect the everyday lives of trans people.”