As we observe Pride month, we join people worldwide who are celebrating the advancement of LGBTQ rights, while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done to guarantee equality and freedom for all. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will take a closer look at new research showing increasingly positive American attitudes towards transgender rights, while also exploring a recent document released by the Vatican that denies the very existence of transgender identity.

At home and abroad, transgender rights are under attack. The administration’s ban of transgender soldiers is only one of many examples of efforts to dehumanize and erase transgender individuals. Despite this, new research suggests that support for transgender rights is increasing in the United States. To understand current American attitudes towards transgender individuals, Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, will speak with Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, to discuss their new report titled, America’s Growing Support for Transgender Rights. 

While public acceptance of transgender individuals may be growing, the Vatican recently issued a document denying the existence of transgender identity. The document, entitled Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education, informs Catholic education and emphasizes the existence of a gender binary, essentially erasing the existence of transgender individuals. Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA, an organization that recognizes and celebrates LGBTQ Catholics, will join Welton to discuss the document, the relationship of the Vatican with science-informed research and the implications on the Vatican’s position for the safety and freedom of LGBTQ Catholics and others.

It should be no surprise that a concerted campaign in pursuit of racial justice  underway in Atlanta, Georgia, is centered around the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached. Starting Monday, the church will host a “Let My People Go” Ending Mass Incarceration Conference including a Freedom Day Bailout, to mark the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the United States by bailing out people who are incarcerated simply because they cannot afford bail. The Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at the church, will be back with us to share highlights of this campaign.

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