To: Vincent Gray, Mayor of D.C., Cathy Lanier, Police Chief of D.C., and President Donald Trump

A Statement on Stopping Violence Against Transgendered Persons

A Statement on Stopping Violence Against Transgendered Persons

Affirmed by the Executive Committee of the Alliance of Baptists, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB) and Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA).

Background:
The Alliance of Baptists, AWAB and BPFNA is increasingly shaped by “a commitment to inclusiveness, each person valued as God’s beloved, uniquely gifted to reveal and enable God’s work in the world” and “A hunger and thirst for social justice, each believer called to do the transformative work of Christ in the compassionate spirit of Christ.”

This commitment is in keeping with the Alliance Covenant and Mission which calls us
In our personal and corporate response to the call of God in Jesus Christ to be disciples and servants in the world, we commit ourselves to…the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ and the calling of God to all peoples to repentance and faith, reconciliation and hope, social and economic justice.”

In light of our commitment to this calling it is with great distress that we hear of an increasing pattern of violence against transgender persons within our nations capitol.
This pattern has been evidenced by
• The July 2011 attack on two transgender persons in which one was killed.
• The August/September 2011 muggings of seven transgender women in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood.
• The September 2011 attack on three transgender women near a Metro station.
• An incident in which an off-duty police officer fired on a group of transgender individuals.
• The September 12, 2011 incident in which a transgender woman was shot in the neck.
• The growing sense from the trans-gender community that their concerns and their safety are not being taken seriously enough by Washington D.C. police and other officials.

Our Hebrew Scriptures teach us that when the oppressed cry out, God sees, God hears, God feels their plight, and God comes. We acknowledge that our prophetic witness is one of the ways that God comes to bring shalom to this crisis. It is appropriate to remind ourselves that the defining of any group of persons as “other” in such a way as to make violence toward and/or oppression of them acceptable is contrary to the Gospel of Christ. We need further to acknowledge that many of these persons are our brothers and sisters in Christ and that all are part of the creation that God loves. Finally, we need to remember that Jesus told us that as we do to the least, we also do to Him. Consequently, when we stand in solidarity with the transgender victims of violence, we also stand in solidarity with the Christ who suffers with them.

Because of our commitment to God’s shalom and to Jesus’ picture of the New Creation in which justice and inclusion are paramount, we, the Alliance of Baptist, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists and Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America call upon community leaders and persons of faith in all communities marred by violence toward transgender persons to work together with persons from that community to seek just solutions to this blight of violence and hatred.

Specifically in regard to the current violence in our nation’s capitol we call upon
1. Mayor Vincent Gray, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, and local faith community leaders to work with the transgender community to find ways to end this violence and restore the trans-gender community’s faith in law enforcement;

2. Chief Lanier to develop new ways of making her officers more aware of the safety needs of transgender persons and to actively combat stereotypes regarding these individuals;

3. The D.C. faith community, particularly our Baptist brothers and sisters, to join with us and lead in prayer, repentance, teaching, and preaching regarding the blindness that has allowed many to let violence toward this community be a “non-issue”;

4. All our Alliance of Baptists congregations to join in this effort; through efforts of education, prayer, and solidarity.

Pertinent News Stories:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/deadly-morning-shooting-in-northeast-dc/2011/07/20/gIQAFKa7PI_blog.html
http://unfinishedlivesblog.com/2011/09/10/off-duty-d-c-policeman-fires-into-transwomens-car-injuring-three/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-police-officer-held-in-connection-with-off-duty-shooting-of-vehicle-with-five-occupants/2011/09/02/gIQAzJXixJ_story.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/transgender-person-shot-in-dc-3rd-such-attack-this-summer/2011/09/12/gIQA5viUMK_blog.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/mcdonalds-beating-and-transgender-rights-in-maryland-texas/2011/04/25/AFEEn7jE_blog.html
http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/crime-punishment/2011/09/police-investigating-death-attacks-trangender-people

Why is this important?

Affirmed by the Executive Committee of the Alliance of Baptists, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB) and Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA).

We call upon community leaders and persons of faith in all communities marred by violence toward transgender persons to work together with persons from that community to seek just solutions to this blight of violence and hatred.

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