Tennessee Pastors Challenge Legislative Agenda on LBGTQ Issue

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition calls lawmakers to task for failing to act as Jesus would

A group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition is challenging the legislative agenda of Tennessee's political majority as it relates to issues impacting the LGBTQ community.

"Whether we are Black, white or brown, Native or newcomer, gay or straight, transgender or not, we all deserve the freedom to be ourselves, to be the people God created us to be," stated Rev. Rick Roberts, Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in Nashville. "We all deserve to receive high quality and accessible healthcare, and to pursue our God-given dreams. But in this legislative session it seems like the majority of what I'm seeing from the Supermajority is bills targeting the LGBTQ community, especially transgender youth. These politicians are targeting the people in our community who need help the most. Even more egregious bill, HB1215 which attempts to ensure than no health insurance company in the country can provide gender affirming healthcare even to adults if they want to provide TNCare coverage in Tennessee. This is just cruel."

Roberts noted that current crises in Tennessee merit significant attention and that legislation focused on marginalizing various groups takes away from that core focus:

"By passing and emphasizing these harmful and discriminatory laws, our elected leaders are showing us their view of power is putting us in boxes based on what we look like, where we’re from, or what our genders are," Roberts said. "They fuel divisions instead of working together to push for better education, healthcare, and social services, which are all currently in crisis here in Tennessee."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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