U.S. Jewish Organizations' Letter to House of Representatives Opposing Anti-Transgender Sports Ban

WASHINGTON - On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, Keshet, and 90 additional Jewish organizations, the following letter was shared in opposition of H.R. 734, an anti-transgender sports ban:

April 17th, 2023

Dear Representative,

On behalf of the 92 undersigned national, state, and local Jewish organizations, we write to express our opposition to H.R. 734. Driven by our Jewish values, we are committed to supporting laws that protect the civil rights and individual liberties of all people. Rather than protecting transgender children, this bill would do harm by banning transgender women and girls from participating in school sports teams consistent with their gender identity.

Jewish tradition teaches that all people are created b'tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image, and are worthy of dignity and respect. Judaism also specifically recognizes the diversity of gender identity. In fact, our Jewish legal texts mention at least six different genders. As organizations grounded in Jewish values and beliefs, we have an ethical and moral responsibility to fight for a society that ensures the humanity of all people. Every person is entitled to a life free from discrimination.

Two-thirds of Americans across the political spectrum oppose these anti-trans sports bans - including 69 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Independents, and 66 percent of Republicans.  Furthermore, 79 percent of all Americans and 85 percent of Jewish Americans support protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ people. It is clear that the U.S. population, across political spectrums and faith communities, does not support this kind of discriminatory legislation.

This bill perpetuates a false narrative that transgender athletes harm and threaten women's sports. There is no evidence that transgender athletes have an advantage over cisgender athletes; every athlete is unique, and multiple factors contribute to athletic success. There are many real issues facing women's sports teams, including disproportionate funding and resources compared to their male counterparts - transgender athletes are not one of them. It is for these reasons that many leading women's and girls' rights organizations also oppose H.R. 734. Transgender women are women and deserve to participate in sports teams that align with their gender identity.

Furthermore, anti-transgender policies such as this sports ban actively harm LGBTQ+ youth and detract from real issues facing LGBTQ+ youth. According to a survey conducted by the Trevor Project, 83 percent of trans and nonbinary youth have worried about being denied the ability to play sports due to anti-trans legislation . This bill would also jeopardize children's mental health; the same survey found that over half of transgender youth seriously considered suicide and one in five trans and nonbinary youth attempted suicide in the past year.  However, they also found that "LGBTQ youth who found their school to be LGBTQ-affirming reported lower rates of attempting suicide." Trans and nonbinary youth need protections that will make schools and communities more inclusive and affirming, not threaten their health and dignity.

As Jewish organizations, we firmly believe that all people deserve the right to live as their complete selves, without fear and intimidation. We support transgender people's civil rights because of our Jewish values, not in spite of them. For all these reasons, we urge you to vote no on H.R. 734.


Union for Reform Judaism

National Organizations:

A Wider Bridge
ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
American Conference of Cantors
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Central Conference of American Rabbis
J Street
Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Women International
Jews for a Secular Democracy
JQ International
Judaism Your Way
Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute
Men of Reform Judaism
Moving Traditions
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Jewish Women Greater Dallas Section
NFTY Reform Jewish Youth Movement
Rabbinical Assembly
Reconstructing Judaism
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Society for Humanistic Judaism
T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
The Shalom Center
The Workers Circle
The World Congress of LGBT Jews, Keshet Ga'avah
Women of Reform Judaism
Women's League for Conservative Judaism

State and Local Organizations:

Beth Chayim Chadashim
Coastal Roots Farm
Congregation Am HaYam
Congregation Sha'ar Zahav
Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles
Nefesh LA
Or Hamidbar, Palm Springs
Sha'ar Zahav's Trans and Nonbinary Committee
Temple B'nai Hayim
Congregation Har HaShem
Congregation HEA
Hebrew Educational Alliance
Up In The Chair
Temple Adath Or
Temple Beth El of Boca Raton
National Council of Jewish Women Atlanta Section
SOJOURN: Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity
Tzedek Georgia
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
Mishkan Chicago
Havurat Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
TBZ Brookline
Temple B'nai Abraham
Temple Emanu-El of Haverhill
Temple Reyim - Areyvut (Social Justice)Committee
Temple Shir Tikva
Columbia Jewish Congregation
JPride Baltimore
Detroit Jews for Justice
Jewish Community Action
Congregation Shaare Emeth
Gateway Community of Humanistic Judaism
Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School
North Carolina
Carolina Jews for Justice
Jewish Community Center of Asheville
Limitless Judaism
New Hampshire
Temple Israel-Portsmouth
New Jersey
Temple Beth-El of NJ
New York
Fort Tryon Jewish Center
Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)
Kane Street Synagogue
National Council of Jewish Women New York
New York Jewish Agenda
Tribe 12
Beth Torah
Congregation Emanu El
Makom Shelanu Congregation
Texas Jews for Justice
Agudas Achim Congregation