Director, Believe Out Loud
Christians Join Protests Of North Carolina’s House Bill 2
Believe Out Loud Delivers Signatures From 2,111 LGBTQ-Affirming Christians Against HB2
New York, NY—Believe Out Loud delivered signatures this morning from 2,111 Christians demanding that North Carolina lawmakers repeal House Bill 2, a transphobic law that gained notoriety after lawmakers called a one-day special session in March to overturn the city of Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance.
But House Bill 2 reaches far beyond this stated intention. In addition to overturning Charlotte’s ordinance, the law also leaves the elderly, people of color, LBGTQI and same-gender-loving people, women, and people with disabilities few legal options when they face discrimination. As if that isn’t enough, House Bill 2 also denies hourly workers the opportunity to make a living wage.
Believe Out Loud joined with organizations from North Carolina and across the country this morning to mark the first day of North Carolina’s General Assembly. The gathered crowd rallied behind North Carolina leaders including Rev. Dr. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement. Rev. Dr. Barber urged a coalition to work against all parts of House Bill 2: “All or nothing—we will not be played. You will not pit black people and gay people and poor people against one another.”
In a letter to her congressman, Vivian Taylor—a transgender woman, Iraqi War veteran, and 8th generation North Carolinian—describes the impact of House Bill 2 on people who are trans and gender nonconforming: “HB2 puts me and other people in the North Carolina trans community at terrible risk. Anyone who knows that we are trans could call the police on us and claim to have seen us in a restroom of our lived gender. Trans people in North Carolina already face outsized threat of poverty and violence. HB2 only adds to that burden.”
Believe Out Loud’s 2,111 signatures were one part of a petition delivery that numbered over 187,000. Today’s petition delivery was coordinated by TurnOUT! NC, a joint project of the Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU of North Carolina, the Campaign for Southern Equality, and Equality North Carolina. Organizations including Believe Out Loud, Charlotte’s Freedom Center for Social Justice, the North Carolina NAACP, the National LGBTQ Task Force, and the Religious Institute also collected signatures.
“As a pastor, I have seen the harm done to transgender people through discrimination and lack of understanding. I know the fear that many of them live with,” says Rev. Julie Peeples, Senior Pastor of Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro, North Carolina. “There is nothing Christian about perpetuating myths and creating more fear. Please stop trying to score political points by targeting those already vulnerable.”
HB2 was the first anti-transgender law to pass in any state across the country, with more than 150 anti-LGBTQ bill proposed across the country. Of these proposed bills, 79 misuse religion to justify harm against LGBTQ people, and 44 specifically target trans and gender nonconforming people. In response, Believe Out Loud is mobilizing Christians to send a clear message that God’s love extends to ALL of God’s beloved children.
About Believe Out Loud
Believe Out Loud is an online community that empowers Christians to work for justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. Reaching an average of 3–5 million people per month, Believe Out Loud is the leading platform in Christian faith and LGBTQ advocacy. Believe Out Loud is a program of Intersections International.