The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
In a major setback in the fight for transgender equality, the Supreme Court announced on March 6, 2017 that it will not hear oral arguments for Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., a case involving the right of transgender high school students to use the bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.
The court was originally scheduled to hear oral arguments for the case on March 28, but after President Trump rescinded the trans inclusion guidance issued by the previous administration, the case was sent back to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for further review.
The Department of Education said in 2015 that schools “generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity,” and last year they even declared that schools could lose federal grants if they discriminated against transgender students. Anti-trans state legislation like HB 2 in North Carolina has been met with public outrage and resulted in celebrities pulling concerts and sports teams cancelling previously scheduled championship games. A recently released PRRI Survey found that 70% of Americans favor laws that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and housing. The same survey reported that 53% of Americans oppose laws that would require transgender people to use the bathrooms corresponding with the sex they were assigned at birth, and 39% of Americans support such laws.
Our tradition teaches us to seek justice for all of God’s children, regardless of gender identity or expression. In an interview with Fox News in 2015, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center, described the fight for transgender rights as “…just another step in the tradition of inclusion and equality.” To watch the interview, click here.
We are charged as Jews, as Americans and as human beings to speak up against the injustice of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people. Take action today by urging your school board to adopt policies that ensure protections for trans students, and urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor the Equality Act (H.R. 3185/S. 1858 in the 114th Congress) when it is re-introduced in the 115th Congress. This bill which would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people in education and numerous other areas of law, making it illegal to discriminate against transgender students in schools.