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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Why the church should fight anti-transgender legislation

Priests in Daunte Wright's community urge Catholics to fight racism, police violence

As the community mourns the police killing of Daunte Wright, a biracial Black man, Catholics everywhere must stand up against racism and police violence, said Redemptorist Fr. Marcel Okwara of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, where Wright died.

Okwara, a parochial vicar who immigrated from Nigeria in 2007, told NCR he found Wright's death "very upsetting."

According to body camera footage, Kim Potter of the Brooklyn Center police shot and killed 20-year-old Wright on April 11 after allegedly pulling him over for an expired license plate. Potter, who had been a police officer for 26 years, claimed that Wright resisted arrest and that shooting him was an accident, according to the local news station KARE11.

"I don't understand the use of force, right on the spot on someone who is unarmed … What happened to Daunte is avoidable," Okwara said. "They should have let him go and then gone after him much later. And now another young one has been killed."

You can read more of the story here.


Why the church should fight anti-transgender legislation

According to the Human Rights Campaign, state legislators have introduced more than 80 anti-transgender bills since Jan. 1, making 2021 a record year for such discriminatory efforts, Franciscan Fr. Daniel P. Horan points out in his most recent column. The proposed legislation covers a range of oppressive actions, including the prohibition of transgender girls and women from participating in school sports and prohibiting or even criminalizing gender-affirming care for some transgender persons.

"The flurry of gratuitous and dangerous legislative proposals, buoyed by increasing hate speech and transphobic attitudes, is a distraction from real problems like the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, rising income inequality and global climate change, to name a few," Horan writes.

Horan also gives examples of individual Catholic dioceses, bishops and the U.S. bishops' conference supporting the proposed legislation or announcing policies that target transgender people.

"While these examples of individual and corporate transphobia and anti-transgender activism on the part of church leaders represents the most contentious and visible public responses to increasing trans visibility in our communities, they are not the only Catholic responses; nor are they the most Catholic responses," Horan writes.

You can read the rest of his column here.

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