Southern Baptist Convention officially condemns transgender people

The Southern Baptist Convention held in Baltimore, has passed a resolution that has officially placed the denomination in opposition to the lives and reality of transgender people. The resolution, overwhelmingly adopted without amendment, opposes transition-related treatment and states that both transgender and intersex people are the result of human fallenness. You can read the whole resolution on page 9 of this document.

Religion News Service reports:

The delegates, known as “messengers,” affirmed “God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception.”

They added that they had compassion for people with gender conflicts, called them “image-bearers of Almighty God” and condemned “acts of abuse or bullying committed against them.”

But they went on the record to oppose gender assignment surgery and cross-sex hormone therapies. They expressed their hope that transgender people would “experience renewal” through a faith in Jesus.

The Southern Baptist resolution attempts to soften its anti-transgender opposition with language like, "we extend love and compassion to those whose sexual self-understanding is shaped by a distressing conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity," and "we love our transgender neighbors, seek their good always, welcome them to our churches and, as they repent and believe in Christ, receive them into church membership."

However, the church only goes on to outline how it opposes the cultural acceptance of transgender people, which has been steadily rising. The denomination wants to have it both ways, welcoming in everyone, and yet denying the realities of their lives. Instead of listening to transgender people, it chose to define them as "other" and oppose their ability to live full and productive lives.

The resolution comes at a time when transgender people are achieving higher levels of visibility. Laverne Cox's appearance on TIME Magazine has prompted several instances of backlash, notably an inaccurate and offensive op-ed written in the National Review that was briefly reprinted in the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times pulled the op-ed after hearing from GLAAD and transgender leaders. 

Additionally, the Southern Baptist Convention elected a president who said that gay people were "Satan's con job."