Presiding Bishop responds to Trump’s transgender military ban

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] “I am compelled to oppose these actions and to affirm the moral principle of equal rights for all persons, including the LGBTQ communities,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry stated in his statement. “I do so as a follower of Jesus Christ, as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and as a citizen who loves this country.”

The presiding bishop’s statement follows.


In light of President Trump‘s tweet banning transgender individuals from serving in the military and the Department of Justice’s argument that employers can legally discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation, I am compelled to oppose these actions and to affirm the moral principle of equal rights for all persons, including the LGBTQ communities. I do so as a follower of Jesus Christ, as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and as a citizen who loves this country.

This conviction is not born primarily of a social ideal, but of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and the witness of our biblical and theological tradition.

Genesis 1:26-27 teaches us that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. This is a divine declaration of the inherent sanctity, dignity and equality of every person.

Further, the sanctity of every human person and the principle of human equality before God are deeply imbedded in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. In Mark 22:26 and Luke 13:10-17, Jesus teaches the inherent worth and dignity of the human person. In Matthew 5:43-38, he tells us of God’s love for all people equally. In Luke 10:25-37, he commands us to love God and to love every person. Above all, Jesus teaches that we are to treat all others as we ourselves would want to be treated (see Luke 6:31-36).

As followers of Jesus Christ we believe the inherent sanctity, dignity, and equality of every human being as a child of God is part of the moral foundation of our faith. In the Episcopal Church we promise in Holy Baptism to “respect the dignity of every person,” and to “seek and serve Christ in all persons.”

As Americans, we believe in civil and human equality, as one of the foundational ideals of our country. Discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation is a violation of the fundamental ideal of equality in America. The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

Those rights – and the protection from discrimination – apply equally to all Americans.

I truly believe that the overwhelming goodness and kindness and sense of justice of the American people are summed up in the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, which says that we are “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  Therein is the soul of America!

So, to the transgender individuals currently serving in the armed forces: thank you. We are grateful for your service and for your sacrifices.  We support you and all service members and veterans. You are our neighbors, brothers and sisters in God‘s human family, and fellow citizens of this country we love.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Comments

  1. Dina Fulgoni says:

    Wow what a powerful and needed statement, thank you!

  2. I pray that those service members who felt threatened by the President’s tweet can hear the voices of all those who are surrounding them with love and respect. God bless ALL those who serve so we might live in freedom. I swore to defend and uphold the constitution as an officer in the US Navy. I have vowed in my baptism and in my ordination to love as Christ has loved me. I will lay down my life for you, dear friends, in the name of Jesus and for liberty.

  3. Ernie Hammel says:

    Separation of Church and State goes both ways. If the Bishop is want to quote scripture with regards to President Trump’s edict, why not this passage, Leviticus 18:12 “‘You must not lie down with a male in the same way that you lie down with a woman.. It is a detestable act. Or this from Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Or this from Roman Romans 7:21, “I find, then, this law in my case: When I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me. I really delight in the law of God according to the man I am within, but I see in my body another law warring against the law of my mind and leading me captive to sin’s law+ that is in my body. Miserable man that I am!” There are many passages which can be quoted with regards to transexuality and homosexuality. God made you man and woman and stop warring within your mind on this fact!!! That is God’s message. We as honest thinking Christians must allow ALL of God’s words to enter our soul….. Not just the ones that make the clergy feel comfortable in today’s permissive society. God’s words are eternal!!!…. the liberal politicians and current Episcopalian clergy rationalizations are fleeting.

    • Lynn d'Albertis says:

      Are you judging others?

    • Helen Taylor says:

      God did not write the Bible – people did! Therein lies the difference of what you interpret as God’ s will (desire) – judgement or love? Have it your way – I choose love !

  4. Angustia Hamasaki says:

    Thank God for the righteous people of God, for Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Lord God don’t let your people deceive of worldly sins and walk in the wrong path. Let the straight path continue to straighten up and help us Lord God to delight your righteous ways not evil wicked ways. Your God’s love is holy and righteous. Again your John 3:16 remind us, Lord God your life is for eternal, don’t forsake us and be victorious to us all. In Jesus holy name we pray. Amen

  5. Laura Palermo says:

    Proud of the military leadership for standing by the regulations officially in place, so the people potentially affected by the president’s brash statement will see no change in status because of it.

  6. Laura Palermo says:

    Thankful for the Episcopal News Service and the Presiding Bishop’s position of leadership. I’m also proud of the military leadership for standing by the regulations officially in place, so the people potentially affected by the president’s brash statement will see no change in status because of it. (Regardless of the political range embraced by the Church, Prayers for the president never have been more greatly needed!)

  7. E. Marshall Buckles says:

    I agree with Ernie Hammel who posts here. Also, speaking from a secular point of view, our US military is for the purpose of defending our nation. It is NOT for the purpose of “social engineering” and sex. If someone was born one sex but thinks that they are another sex they seem to me to have a PROBLEM which means that they should lead a quiet civilian life and NOT be in the military and not be out on the battlefield. Mind you, I do not want homosexuals and transgender persons abused like they once were. On the other hand, the overwhelming pressure to totally accept, without question, even to “celebrate” homosexuals and transgenders needs to cease. So far, at least, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is still in effect. Also, the Bible has not changed. We are called to love the sinner but not the sin. May God bless and save the United States of America.

  8. Elizabeth Lang says:

    Thank you Michael Curry for speaking up in the name of Christ in favor of respecting all people and for treating one’s neighbor as one wishes to be treated. This call is radical, but I wonder why it is controversial.

  9. Ben Quinten says:

    There is no room in the episcopal “church” for traditional Christians who uphold Biblical morality. Instead episcopalians teach children and young people to reject Christian morals, disobey God, disobey parents, and pursue a lifestyle of sexual immorality. Episcopagans promote gay sex and do not care whether its right or wrong, nor who gets hurts.

  10. Sloane Graff says:

    Homosexuality is clearly a sin, but railing against homosexuality may be a greater sin.

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