Support the Café

Search our Site

Curry and Jennings sign amicus brief in transgender rights case

Curry and Jennings sign amicus brief in transgender rights case

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings are the lead signers on an amicus brief filed March 2 by 1,800 clergy and religious leaders in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving transgender-bathroom use policies.


The “friend of the court” brief comes in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, which the American Civil Liberties Union and its Virginia chapter filed on behalf of Gavin Grimm and his mother, Deirdre Grimm, in June 2015.

The signers urge the high court to see that the ability to live in a country that guarantees transgender equality is a religious freedom issue. They said their faith communities have approached issues related to gender identity in different ways, but are “united in believing that the fundamental human dignity shared by all persons requires treating transgender students like Respondent Gavin Grimm in a manner consistent with their gender identity.”

The signers urged the court to address the civil rights of transgender persons according to religiously neutral constitutional principles of equal protection under the law. Doing so, they said, “will not impinge upon religious belief, doctrine, or practice” and instead will adhere to the Constitution’s prohibition against favoring one religious viewpoint over any others.

Curry anchored his support of the brief in Genesis 1:26-27, which declares that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Carol D. Willans

Thak you for supporting and caring about th issue . This is an issues thatneeds education , compassion and despreratly needs to be brought to the for front. My friend has a beautiful granddaughter that at the age of almost three told his parents that inside he was a girl.This open loving caring family got the help that was needed and she is now a lovely litle girl supported by all of her family . Should she have to use the boys and men’s bathroom ? NO

Philip B. Spivey

Bravo + Brava = Bravi. Thank you, Church.

Anne Benedict

It’s also important to note a fundamental error in the filing itself which you can see by clicking on it.

“He has been diagnosed by medical professionals as having Gender Dysphoria, which is a serious medical condition characterized by clinically significant distress caused by an incongruence between a person’s gender identity and the person’s assigned sex at birth.”

Words matter.

Gender dysphoria is not caused by the incongruence between a person’s gender identify and the person’s assigned sex at birth. If I were incorrectly “assigned male” at birth, I would have my birth certificate amended (or just ignore it). I would have a legal problem, not a medical problem, and surgery and hormones would do nothing to fix it.

In Gender Dysphoria, the disconnect is between the person’s gender identify (mental state) and their actual physical body. This is why the physical body has to be surgically and chemically altered — not the piece of paper “assigned” at birth.

Marshall Scott

Anne, the word is “characterized,” not “caused.” That is, this is about identifying the incongruence, not attributing mechanism. So, the point is indeed to affirm that the disconnect is actual and demonstrable, however it came to be.

And, may God bless you in who you are, as you are.

David Allen

Gender dysphoria is not caused by the incongruence between a person’s gender identify and the person’s assigned sex at birth.

You are in error, as that is exactly the definition of gender dysphoria. The part you misunderstand is that the phrase “assigned at birth” is NOT referring to marking male or female on a birth record. It refers to the visual determination of gender based on the physical sexual organs of a person at birth. In the case of the transgender child, the determination at birth of their gender based upon their physical genitalia and the gender expectaions then placed on them as they are reared, does not match their own internal understanding of their gender identity.

Anne Benedict

Actually, the national government isn’t against them. The Obama administration sent out a directive to all schools that if a school doesn’t let a transgender student use any facilities they want to use (note — the issue here is that the school is willing to provide separate facilities, but that is not acceptable to the student) then the government can punish the school by withholding funds under Title IX.

This is a wholly novel reading of a 1972 law intended to give girls the same quality of sports opportunities and training that boys have and it almost certainly would have been struck down by the courts but never got that far because the Obama administration threatened schools but never actually took any action.

The current administration merely rescinded the threat.

Helen Kromm

“(note — the issue here is that the school is willing to provide separate facilities, but that is not acceptable to the student)”

Amazing. Incredible. In the year 2017, someone comes out and makes an argument that “separate but equal” is an acceptable policy.

Truly, I never would have imagined that anyone could come forward in 2017 and posit an argument predicated on that concept.

And imagine that! The concept of separate but equal, affirmed in 1896 in Plessey v. Ferguson simply isn’t “acceptable” to these students.

Dena Morris

Thank you, Bishop Curry & Rev. Jennings. These young people are under enough “pressure,” without having the national government “against” them.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café