I’m a gay, Christian pediatrician and have no doubt: Jesus would reject anti-trans laws

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06/15/2021

“What would Jesus do?” This slogan has been used by Christians for decades, serving as a reminder to act in the way Jesus did (and would today) by showing love, mercy, compassion and kindness. When I was a child, this phrase was meaningful to me as I struggled to reconcile my Christianity with my sexuality. I tried to “pray the gay away” while taking comfort in the knowledge that Jesus would love me as I was. I attended church faithfully and read the Bible that refers to homosexuality as an abomination in Leviticus 18:22, a sin, a condemnation to hell. Only a few biblical verses refer to same-sex attraction and behavior — for instance, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, and the justification of its destruction in Jude 7. But none are reflective of how we understand sexuality today, a misinterpretation that has led to faith-based defenses of homophobia and transphobia. The recent increase in anti-transgender legislation is troubling for me as a Christian, cisgender gay man and pediatrician who provides gender-affirming care to adolescents. According to the Human Rights Campaign, as of March 13, a record 82 anti-transgender bills had been introduced in state legislative sessions this year. One such bill — which was signed into law on April 6 and takes effect in July — makes Arkansas the first state to ban physicians from providing gender-affirming health care to transgender youth under age 18.

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