Pastors Speak Out on 6th Circuit Ruling on Gender Affirming Care

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition calls for compassion for the "marginalized and excluded"

A group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition spoke out against a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that allows Tennessee's ban on gender-affirming care for minors to go into effect.

Previously, a federal district judge had granted an injunction preventing the law's implementation.

"Today I'm saddened that the 6th Circuit Court sided with Tennessee's 'slate of hate' and decided to reinstate the ban on gender affirming care for minors," stated Rev. Josh Scott, Lead Pastor of GracePointe Church in Nashville. "As a pastor I have no doubt that if Jesus physically walked among us today he would not be in support of the dehumanization and demonization of the LGBTQ+ community. The Jesus we follow would be found first and foremost compassionately ministering to those who have been marginalized and excluded: healing, feeding the hungry, providing shelter for unhoused or refugee communities, and yes, advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. We are all made in the image of God and we all deserve the freedom to be our full and true selves, and we deserve the privacy to make our own healthcare decisions without government interference. Yet this Tennessee Supermajority, Governor Lee, Attorney General Skrmetti, and now the 6th Circuit Court have taken this freedom from us."

The group says the new law will bring harm to young people and that it distracts from more important policy issues.

"I'm frustrated and angry that the 6th Circuit Court sided with Tennessee's Supermajority Legislature who was so confident in their power that they used people as pawns in their ban of all gender-affirming care for minors across the state," stated Rev. Flo Oakes, Children's Pastor of St. Mary of Bethany Church in Nashville.  "This ban intentionally harms the young people who need our support and instead their elected leaders are focusing on discrimination and hate. Besides being dangerous and harmful, this policy serves as a distraction to divide us, when in reality Tennesseans are united in what we are asking for, such as Medicaid expansion and common sense gun reform. Unfortunately, the leaders who championed this policy, including Governor Lee, are ruling for the wishes of the few and ignoring the will of the vast majority of Tennesseans."

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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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