United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion (UMATI)
Reconciling Ministries Network
123 W. Madison St., Suite 1450
Chicago, IL 60602
For Immediate Release
UMATI Affirms Dr. Rachel Levine’s Expertise, Identity, and Character as PA Secretary of Health
United Methodists condemn transphobic harassment aimed at public servant protecting Pennsylvanians during pandemic
May 7, 2020
The United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion (UMATI) supports the work of Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and decries the transphobic harassment she has endured in response to her public service. At UMATI, we urge affirmation and support for Dr. Levine, and we call Pennsylvanians to repent of transphobia that now endangers our public health.
UMATI is an active extension ministry of Reconciling Ministries Network. We are a network of transgender and gender variant people, those who transcend the gender binary, and allies who strive to nurture, outreach, and witness to the diversity that is the image of God. Embracing the God-given reality that from our genesis we are created in God’s image, UMATI understands gender diversity as a divine gift. Accordingly, we particularly welcome, support, and advocate for those who are transgender or gender variant or who otherwise transcend binary gender expectations.
Thus, we affirm and support the work and identity of Dr. Rachel Levine. Dr. Levine is an experienced, gifted leader in the public health arena and one of the only out, visible transgender individuals in higher levels of public service. Her identity as a transgender woman does not and cannot overshadow her work as a physician and her qualifications as the former Physician General and current Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth.
Dr. Levine is an asset to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and she is an asset to the global public health community. Her communication with the people of the state of Pennsylvania throughout this global pandemic has been thorough and provided a non-anxious presence. Her deep concern for the people of Pennsylvania has shown in her daily updates on COVID-19. When asked about her reaction to transphobic harassment from Pennsylvanians, she spoke about the importance of heeding public health best practices, choosing again to put the people first and demonstrating extraordinary, selfless leadership.
What has been clear during this pandemic is that some have reacted by bullying and harassing those protecting the common good, even our public servants. We applaud Dr. Levine for her public witness of grace and poise while she faces vitriolic attacks based on her identity. She is a role model who lives her life authentically and publicly.
Creator of all, we give thanks for your servant, Dr. Rachel Levine. Her call to be a visible witness of the diversity of your creation has saved lives of all ages, races, and faiths. We ask you to be present with her as she does her work, keeping the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania healthy and safe during this time. May she continue to be a sign of hope for all Pennsylvanians and all who are transgender or gender variant and/or those who transcend the gender binary. Bless Dr. Rachel Levine, her loved ones, and her work.
UMATI is an active extension ministry of Reconciling Ministries Network. We are a network of transgender and gender variant people, those who transcend the gender binary, and allies who strive to nurture, outreach, and witness to the diversity that is the image of God. Embracing the God-given reality that from our genesis we are created in God’s image, UMATI understands gender diversity as a divine gift.
Living into its shared baptismal covenant, Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) equips and mobilizes United Methodists to resist evil, injustice, and oppression as we seek justice for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. RMN envisions a renewed and vibrant Wesleyan movement that is biblically and theologically centered. As committed disciples of Jesus Christ, RMN strives to transform the world by living out the Gospel’s teachings of grace, love, justice, and inclusion for all of God’s children.
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