In the next few months, Americans across the country will have the opportunity to speak out on issues that matter to them. The RAC recently launched our Civic Engagement Campaign to bring our values in to the public square this election season. It is important that Reform Jews show up as people of faith to call attention to issues of moral significance that matter to them as they consider who will lead their communities and represent their interests.
One of these issues is the protection of transgender and gender non-conforming people to live their lives fully without discrimination or prejudice. Here are two things you can do to stand up for transgender rights in the Civic Engagement Campaign:
Phonebank for Transgender Rights: This November, Massachusetts voters will have the opportunity to vote on an important ballot referendum to uphold gender identity protections. In partnership with Keshet and Freedom for All Massachusetts, we are mobilizing Reform Jews to vote #YesOn3. As this vote will set the tone for other efforts to repeal the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people across the country, it has national implications. Wherever you live, you can get involved. Sign up to host or participate in a phone bank for transgender rights.
Get Involved in your local School Board Election: In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education rescinded guidance that interpreted Title IX as protecting transgender people from discrimination in using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. This means that it is up to states and local school districts to determine how transgender and gender non-conforming students are treated in public schools. School distract races are an important and local way to raise the issue of transgender rights. Click here to find out if your school district has an election this year. Click here to fill out a form to access our Candidate Engagement Toolkit.
Our tradition teaches that we must not ignore a problem when we see it. In Deuteronomy 22, we are told that if we see our neighbor’s livestock running loose, we cannot just go back into our homes and ignore them. Rather, we must bring them into our own fields, to protect others’ property as well as the animals themselves. From this it is clear that the responsibility for addressing a problem lies with the person who notices it. As Jews concerned about the right of every person to live a life of dignity, we must stand with transgender and gender non-conforming people this election season.