Pastors Call Out Discriminatory Legislation Advancing in General Assembly

Advocate Andy

Advocacy group laments bills they say target LGBTQ community

A group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition is calling out a series of bills advancing in the state legislature for what the group says is discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

The pastors specifically spoke out about legislation that would prohibit TennCare, the state's Medicaid program, from contracting with any hospital or health care provider that offers gender affirming care to transgender individuals - whether minors or adults.

Rev. RJ Robles, a paster in the Disciples of Christ denomination, said of this effort:

"Across our races, backgrounds and gender identities, we ALL want to be treated with dignity and respect. Not only do we all want that, but in a country that claims to value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. And I, as a Christian believe that every one of us is created in the image of God with invaluable worth and value to God. But when the Tennessee Supermajority Legislature pushes laws that would not only prevent TennCare recipients from receiving health care that affirms their true selves but also tries to prevent gender affirming care to be covered by insurance anywhere in the country, they exploit divisions and fears among us so they can get and hold onto power over. They intentionally try to divide us and deny specific groups of us the basic rights, resources, and respect we all deserve.

Robles noted that he believes the cruelty of this bill goes against the call of Christ to "love your neighbor as yourself."

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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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