Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A New Venture

This year TransEpiscopal is entering into some new areas. We have instituted not only this blog but we have acquired a new web site which is now under development. It will be located at http://www.transepiscopal.com . We registered a Domain name "TransEpiscopal.com" and we will be sending a team of members to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Anaheim, California. All these things will/have cost money. To that end we are asking for donations through this website and by mail. There is now the ability to donate to us directly through PayPal (see the widget on the site.) If you wish to donate but don't want to use PayPal then you can email a request to receive an address to send a check "mailto:transepiscopal@gmail.com". No donation is too big or too small and all donations will be used to pay TransEpiscopal expenses only. Currently the Rev. Cameron Partridge and the Rev. Michelle Hansen are serving as co-treasurers.

We will be reporting on the progress of all projects here on this blog. Our hope is to encourage legislation at General Convention that will recognize the equal rights of all Trans individuals in all aspects of the Episcopal Church.

Thank you for your support and your prayers.

The Rev. Michelle Hansen

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Transgender Faith Leaders Support Inclusive Federal Hate Crimes Act (HR 1913)

Earlier this week several TransEpiscopal members signed the following letter, written by Rev. Malcolm Himshoot, which was released this week during the National Transgender Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. You can also find it online here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dear Decision-maker,

We the under-signed support an inclusive federal hate crimes bill (HR 1913) because we think it is good for the community to take seriously crimes such as the brutal murder of Angie Zapata in Colorado this past year. Reflecting upon the past weeks of Allen Andrade's court trial, we are grateful for responsible investigators, prosecutors, and a jury who invalidated a harmful and re-victimizing "trans-panic" defense. No one is responsible for their own beating, bashing or killing. When some people are especially targeted for being different or for being queer, it makes sense that the community will act to especially protect them.

We wish that such a law could have protected Angie before her death. But in reality a great number of supports in a community are needed to reduce our vulnerability – namely, social and economic justice for all.

The `guilty' verdict reached in a court of law dignified, but could never repair, the value of Angie's life and the gravity of her loss. Yet, our experience in ministries that work toward nonviolent alternatives, reintegration and rehabilitation of offenders does not allow us to believe we can achieve safety by disposing of people behind bars. They are still with us. They are still part of us. We will be praying for the gay men and transgender inmates who face violence while they serve their time, who may even be serving their time in the same facilities as Allen Andrade. We will be praying for Allen as well, now cut off from the prospect of wholeness and reintegration with his community.

We who lead faith traditions hold to a story of justice that does not end with retribution, but rather with restoration. In the struggle against violence and deprivation, we applaud not only the work of the National Center for Transgender Equality to raise specific issues like hate crimes law, but also the work of Senator Webb (S.714) in raising a commission to address a general issue: criminal justice reform. It is high time.

We support legislation today that honors human dignity and possibility. Diversity is a fact of God's creation -- except for poverty, which is our own creation. Where there is personal or systemic hate and disregard, we urge lawmakers to respond. Not only with indignation but with moral imagination.


•The Rev. Malcolm Himschoot (Commerce City, CO)
United Church of Christ

•Nicole Garcia (Louisville, CO)
Transgender Representative, Lutherans Concerned/North America

•Mr. Barb Greve (Hamden, CT)
Co-Founder, Transgender Religious Professional Unitarian Universalists Together

•Rabbi Levi Alter (Malibu, CA)
President, Female-To-Male International (Human Rights Gender Non-Discrimination Organization)

•The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge (Allston, MA)
Priest, St. Luke's and St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Co-Chair Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality, TransEpiscopal

•The Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek (Spring Arbor, MI),
Co-Director of Michigan Equality

•Chris Paige (Philadelphia, PA)
Founder, TransFaith Online

•Seth Donovan (Denver, CO)
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Full Inclusion Committee

•The Rev. Sean Parker Dennison (Salt Lake City, UT)
South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society

•Barbara Satin (Minneapolis/ St. Paul, MN)
Executive Council, United Church of Christ and Institute of Welcoming Resources and Faithworks Associate of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

•Noach Dzmura (Berkeley, CA)
Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

•Senior Minister Carmarion D. Anderson (Dallas, TX)
Living Faith Covenant Church

•Minister Monica Joy Cross (Berkeley, CA)
Pacific School of Religion

•Angel Celeste Collie (Chapel Hill, NC)
Metropolitan Community Church

•Rabbi Elliot Kukla (San Francisco, CA)
•The Rev. Megan Rohrer (San Francisco, CA)
Director, The Welcome Ministry

•Richard Juang (Cambridge, MA)
Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality

•Rebecca Anne Allison, MD (Phoenix, AZ)
President-Elect, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, United Church of Christ

•The Rev. Pat Conover (Silver Spring, MD)
Minister, United Church of Christ
Steward, Seekers Church

•The Rev. Allyson Robinson (Gaithersburg, MD)
Associate Director of Diversity, Human Rights Campaign, Alliance of Baptists

•Jakob Hero (Berkeley, CA)
Pacific School of Religion

•Kate Bowman (Denver, CO)
Board Chair, The Gender Identity Center of Colorado

•The Rev. Vicky Kolakowski (Berkeley, CA)
New Spirit Community Church

•The Rev. Paul Langston-Daley (Glendale, AZ)
Minister, West Valley Unitarian Universalist Church

•The Rev. Michelle Hansen, S.T.M., M.Div. (Waterbury CT)
Episcopal Priest (Retired), TransEpiscopal, Treasurer and Moderator of the Twenty Club

•Aidan Dunn (San Francisco, CA)
Stanford University

•Joanne Herman (Boston, MA)
Old South Church, United Church of Christ

•The Rev. G Green (Kenosha, WI)
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

•Ari Lev Fornari (Boston, MA)
Rabbinical Student

•Diane DeLap (Wilmington, MA)
Co-Spokesperson, Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns

•The Rev. Sarah J. Flynn (Burlington, VT)
All Souls Ministry, American Catholic Church of New England

•The Rev. Dr. Erin K. Swenson (Atlanta, GA)
Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, Presbyterian Church, USA

•The Rev. Sky Anderson (San Jose, CA)
Minister of Community Life, M.C.C. (Metropolitan Community Church)

•The Rt. Rev. Dr. Lynn Elizabeth Walker (Brooklyn, NY)
Orthodox Catholic Church of America

•Kelli Anne Busey (Dallas, TX)
Metropolitan Community Church

•Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott (Paterson, NJ)
Professor Emeritus at William Paterson University and founding memer of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus

•Mycroft Masada Holmes (Boston, MA)
Co-Chair, Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality
Chair, Keshet Transgender Working Group (TWiG)

•The Rev. Rik Fire (Warminster, PA)
Ecumenicon Fellowship

•The Rev. Laurie J. Auffant (Lowell, MA)
Unitarian Universalist Association

•Reuben Zellman (San Francisco, CA)

•Stephanie C. Battaglino (Cliffside Park, NJ)
Commissioner, The Oasis - the LGBTi Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, NJ

•Donna M. Cartwright (Baltimore, MD)

•Kate Bornstein (New York City, NY)

•Woody Camacho (San José, CA)
The Metropolitan Community Church of San José

•The Rev. Jay Wilson (San Fransisco, CA)
The Welcome Ministry & Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries

•Jeremiah Gold-Hopton (Atlanta, GA)
Worship Ministry, Northwest (Atlanta) UU Congregation

•Randall E. Klein (Walnut Creek, CA)
Founder, Light in the Closet Ministry, Hillside Covenant Church

•The Rev. Jake Kopmeier (St. Petersburg, FL)
King of Peace MCC

•Jake Nash (Cleveland, OH)
Minister of Worship, Emmanuel Fellowship Church
Executive Director, TranFamily of Cleveland

•Lauryn Farris (San Antonio, TX)
Lay Leader, United Church of Christ
President, San Antonio Gender Association

•Joni Christian (Kent, OH)
Visionary Kent UCC

•Elder Andrea' V. Boisseau AIS (Waltham, MA)
First Presbyterian Church Of Waltham

•Elder Sara Herwig (Waltham, MA)
First Presbyterian Church Of Waltham

•Elder Alanna Block-Butler (Waltham, MA)
First Presbyterian Church Of Waltham

•The Rev. Drew Phoenix (Baltimore, MD)
Ordained MInister, The United Methodist Church

Institutions are included for identification purposes only.