As annual conference season parallels pride month, I am deeply proud of the Reconciling leaders of the South Carolina Annual Conference who penned the resolution passed today denouncing discrimination against trans people in all its forms. Informed by their faith in Jesus Christ, The South Carolina Annual Conference models forward-thinking Christian leadership. It is time for The United Methodist Church to lovingly acknowledge the existence of trans people and to work to end the rampant discrimination and violence rooted in distorted religious teaching and cultural prejudice.
– Matt Berryman, Executive Director on the resolution passed on June 8, 2016 in the South Carolina Annual Conference.
Resolution to Oppose Discrimination Against Transgender People submitted to the South Carolina Annual Conference 2016
WHEREAS, Paragraph 162 of the Book of Discipline states:“We affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God. We therefore work toward societies in which each person’s value is recognized, maintained, and strengthened. We support the basic rights of all persons to equal access to housing, education, communication, employment, medical care, legal redress for grievances, and physical protection. We deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, status, economic condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation. Our respect for the inherent dignity of all persons leads us to call for the recognition, protection, and implementation of the principles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights so that communities and individuals may claim and enjoy their universal, indivisible, and inalienable rights;” And,
WHEREAS, transgender people are a minority who are victims of verbal and physical abuse which have resulted in cases of murder (1200 transgender people, more than 200 each year have been reported killed over the last five years)1 and suicide (41 percent of transgender people living in the United States have attempted suicide)2 out of proportion to their numbers due to ignorance, prejudice, and a lack of understanding or education among the majority; And, WHEREAS, the South Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church approved a resolution at the 2015 Annual Conference to oppose bullying in all its forms and to create a safe space for all children of God regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, culture, citizenship, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability; And, WHEREAS, the Honorable Nikki R. Haley, Governor of the State of South Carolina, has publicly opposed laws that required transgender people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificates; And,
WHEREAS, major business organizations throughout South Carolina, have opposed laws that require transgender people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificates; these organizations include the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, South Carolina Economic Development Association, South Carolina Hospital Association, Upstate SC Alliance (Private/public partnership of over 1400 manufacturing companies), Midlands Industrial Leadership Forum, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Greenwood Area Chamber of Commerce, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, and Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
Therefore, be it resolved, that the following resolution is adopted by the 2016 South Carolina Annual Conference:
That we vow, as churches and people of faith, to no longer be silent about the value of each and every life.
To that end, we categorically oppose discrimination against transgender people in all its forms.
And, in the spirit of advocating for safe sanctuary, we call upon every United Methodist to respond to acts of discrimination against transgender people with acts of compassion.
We will take a public stand against speeches of hate, exclusion, harassment and acts of intimidation and violence filled with long-held prejudices.
Stanton Michael Adams, Clemson UMC, Clemson, SC, email@example.com
Rev. Warren Ashmore, Retired Clergy, SC Annual Conference, Liberty, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Barbara Borom, Ashland UMC, Columbia, SC, email@example.com
Drucilla Brookshire, Trenholm Road UMC, Columbia, SC, 803-787-3027
M. Malissa Burnette, Esq., Washington Street UMC, Columbia, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Clancy, First UMC, Lancaster, SC, email@example.com
Rev. John Culp, Retired Clergy, SC Annual Conference, West Columbia, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol and Don Fowler, Washington Street UMC, Columbia, SC, email@example.com
Sidney Gatch, Lexington UMC, Lexington, SC, 803-239-6595
Rev. Megan Gray, Cokesbury UMC, North Charleston, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Wendy Hudson-Jacoby, North Charleston UMC, North Charleston, SC, email@example.com
Dr. James C. Lane, Washington Street UMC, Columbia, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicki McCartha, Inman UMC, Inman, SC, email@example.com
Lill Mood, Chapin UMC, Chapin, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Dr. Keith D. Ray II, Clemson UMC, Clemson, SC, email@example.com
Anne and Eric Snider, Clemson UMC, Clemson, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Summers, Retired Clergy, SC Annual Conference, Columbia, SC, email@example.com
Sandy Warren, Mt. Vernon UMC, Hickory Grove, SC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Meg Wilkes, First UMC, Clover, SC, email@example.com
1 From the Transgender Europe – TGEU research project, “Trans Respect Versus Transphobia” tables
2 “Injustice at Every Turn” A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey Executive Summary, 2011