Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Today the Guardian (United Kingdom -- England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) newspaper published Becky Garrison's article "Trans clergy are finally gaining greater acceptance (As we approach Transgender Faith Action Week, progress can be seen in attitudes to trans people within the church)".
(The Manchester Guardian is one of England's national newspapers, first published in 1821. The Guardian is affiliated and shares offices and a website with the Observer, another English newspaper, first published in 1791 -- the oldest Sunday newspaper in the world.)
ICTE and lots of other Massachusetts awesomeness is included -- including Rev.s Cameron Partridge and Christopher Fike, the MA diocesan bishop, the local history of Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Transgender Faith Action Week!
Warning -- alas, many of the comments are NSFS (not safe for sanity).
ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) was reintroduced today. Here's MTPC statement (http://www.masstpc.org/?p=1325):
March 30, 2011
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition Applauds Representative Barney Frank for introducing a transgender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
Boston, MA [03.30.11]— The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) applauds Massachusetts’ own Representative Barney Frank for introducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) at a Capitol Hill news conference.
This ENDA is the same bill as introduced in 2009. The language is fully inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. In the past, the bill has received support from the public (90% of Americans are in favor of equal employment rights for LGBT individuals) and President Obama.
“This bill is absolutely necessary for the transgender community,” said MTPC Executive Director Gunner Scott. “It affects transgender youth, adults, and their families. No one should feel they have to hide who they are for fear of being fired from their place of employment. When people are not treated fairly and equally, we all suffer.”
The National Transgender Discrimination Survey, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, shows rampant employment discrimination for transgender individuals, with 76% of survey respondents reporting that they experienced harassment or mistreatment on the job. In addition, MTPC frequently intakes calls from community members who have either experienced discrimination, or are fearful that they may lose their job if they come out to their employer.
About MTPC: The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is dedicated to ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. MTPC works for a world where persons of all genders are treated with respect and fully participate in all areas of society, free from fear of prohibition, harassment or violence based on their gender identity and/or expression. Its members educate the public, advocate with state, local, and federal government, engage in political activism, and encourage empowerment of community members through collective action.
MTPC and ICTE released this media advisory today:
Contact: Mycroft Holmes
FAITH LEADERS TO SPEAK OUT FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY
March 30, 2011
The Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE) is holding a press conference on Monday, April 4th, 2011. The press conference will take place at the Massachusetts Statehouse at 11:00 a.m. in Hearing Room B2.
The press conference will be led by the Reverend Dr. Cameron Partridge, an openly transgender man and Episcopal priest who received his doctorate from Harvard Divinity School and is currently serving at Harvard as Interim Episcopal Chaplain, Denominational Counselor for Episcopal students at the Divinity School, and a Lecturer at the Divinity School and in the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality. Rev. Partridge has served in urban parish, young adult internship, divinity school and college chaplaincy settings; focusing on poverty, sexuality and gender.
Featured speakers include:
The Rt. Reverend M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Bishop Diocesan. Bishop Shaw was consecrated the 15th bishop of Massachusetts in 1995 and is well known for his advocacy for equality, peace and justice, as well as his leadership and involvement with Evangelism programs for young adults.
Rabbi Joseph Berman, the spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Israel in Revere. Originally from Kansas, Rabbi Berman received his BA from Wesleyan University and rabbinical ordination from Hebrew College (Newton, MA). He has worked in Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist synagogues, on college campuses, and with Interfaith Community Boston; and has been an educator, community organizer, and farmer.
Sean Delmore, an openly transgender man, is the Assistant Minister at College Avenue United Methodist Church (Somerville) and a member of Cambridge Welcoming Ministries (United Methodist), and is pursuing ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. A graduate of Bates College and Boston University’s School of Theology (MTS, Sociology of Religion), Sean is a member of BU’s School of Theology Alumni Board, as well as a member of the New England chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action and Program Coordinator MIT’s Rainbow Lounge (offering support for GLBT students).
Faith leaders are standing up and speaking out in support of the passage of An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights, which amends Massachusetts’ non-discrimination laws and hate crime statues to protect transgender youth, adults, and families from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and credit.
Thirteen states and more than 132 cities and counties nationwide have already passed similar non-discrimination laws and have implemented them successfully.
The Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality is also organizing Transgender Faith Action Week during April 3rd – 10th to demonstrate that the Massachusetts faith community largely supports transgender equal rights, and wants to see this vital legislation passed this session.
For more information please visit http://interfaithcoalition.blogspot.com or contact Mycroft Holmes at 617.778.0519 or InterfaithCoalition@gmail.com.
Founded in 2007, the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality is a gathering of clergy and lay leaders that organizes the Massachusetts faith community in support of transgender social justice. As the interfaith partner of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), ICTE focuses on faith-based work in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.