REV. MEG RILEY URGES PEOPLE OF FAITH TO STAND WITH VICTIMS, MINISTER TO TRANSGENDER AMERICANS ON TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Rev. Meg Riley, Standing on the Side of Love campaign chair and Unitarian Universalist Association Director of Advocacy & Witness, issued the following statement in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance:
“It is morally indefensible to oppress, disrespect, or commit violence towards another human being because of his or her God-given identity. We all deserve to live as we were created–I call on all people of faith to embrace their neighbors without reservation, excuse, or judgment.
I also urge religious leaders and communities of faith to educate themselves about the diversity of gender identity and how we can best minister to those in our congregations and communities who are transgender. Our spiritual traditions and sacred texts demand that we stand on the side of love – and the tens of thousands of transgender Americans living today deserve nothing else.”
Rev. Peter Friedrichs of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County, which is honoring Transgender Remembrance Day said:
“Violence against transgender people is pervasive but hidden. Hundreds of transgender men and women from all over the world are viciously murdered every year simply because of their identity, and the crimes are often covered up and the perpetrators usually go unprosecuted. The Transgender Day of Remembrance service is our attempt to bring to light this brutal reality. It is the first step to society’s acceptance of transgender people as fully whole, fully loving, fully worthy human beings. This service shows that we stand on the side of love by embracing people of all gender identities.”
The 9th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed to memorialize victims of anti-transgender violence. Since its inception in 1999, the event has grown to involve activities in hundreds of cities around the world.
Standing on the Side of Love is a campaign sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and promotes respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We believe that no person of any immigrant status, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, ability level, or political view should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence.