Transgender Americans have become a favorite target of far-right extremists who wield religion as a weapon. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, our host Rev. Welton Gaddy speaks with Joanne Keatley, head of the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, about her personal journey and the current onslaught against equality for transgender people. We’ll also discuss the growing acrimony in the Democratic presidential primary with George Washington University’s Greg Lebel. And we’ll hear from Rev. Daniel Schultz about a possible resurgence of the religious left in America.

The Religious Right Trains Its Sights on Transgender Americans
There’s something particularly ugly about a powerful group ganging up on a vulnerable minority. It’s true on the playground, and it’s true in politics. It’s even worse when those with power use religion and fear-mongering to assault equal rights. Sadly, it’s happening now with right-wing leaders attacking the dignity – and sometimes even the existence – of transgender people. Welton speaks with Joanne Keatley, director of the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California San Francisco, who began her own transition 50 years ago. Keatley puts the current attacks in context and helps set out the path ahead for transgender equality.

Bernie vs. Hillary Heats Up, but Will It Melt Down?
What happened in Vegas between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sure didn’t stay there. Judging by news headlines, tensions are flaring as the two camps prepare to face off in the California primary. Welton checks in with Greg Lebel, a veteran of several presidential campaigns and an assistant professor of political management at George Washington University, to find out what it all really means. Greg puts this primary in context and looks ahead to the Democratic convention this summer in Philadelphia.

The Religious Left Is Growing, but Can It Be Effective Again?
In recent years, we’ve seen a number of progressive, faith-orientated movements on the upswing. The Moral Mondays movement, led by Rev. William Barber in North Carolina, and Sister Simone Campbell’s Nuns on the Bus campaign are two high-profile examples. These efforts have been invaluable in broadening the debate on vital issues, but there’s a big difference between speaking truth to power and actually claiming a place within the political structure. Welton asks Pastor Dan Schultz, who recently wrote on the topic, if this is the year of the return of the religious left.

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