The National Weekend of Prayer for Transgender Justice began as a response to the Supreme Court's decision to hear Gavin Grimm's case.
The National Weekend of Prayer was designed to be a time to pray for Gavin Grimm (the transgender student at the center of the case), the transgender community, and the Supreme Court justices. All that changed on March 6, 2017, when the Court decided it would no longer hear the case—in response to the executive branch's decision to remove Title IX guidance clarifying protection for transgender students.
The Supreme Court doesn't speak for people of faith. Transgender justice is a moral imperative, and faith communities must take action.
The Weekend of Prayer
The Court's decision renders the National Weekend of Prayer for Transgender Justice even more important than before. The executive branch's decision to remove support for transgender students and the subsequent backtracking of the Supreme Court's come at a time when a record number of anti-transgender bills are being filed at the state level and hate violence is on the rise against transgender people, particularly transgender women of color and transgender students.
Faith communities do not need a Supreme Court decision to know that transgender people have dignity and worth and that they deserve freedom from violence, fear, and systemic injustices. We knew that when more than 1,800 faith leaders signed an amicus brief in support of Gavin's case. Faith communities must not delay or discontinue the important task of working for transgender justice. During the Weekend of Prayer on March 24th-March 26th, faith communities across the country will engage in prayer, education, and action for transgender justice. The Weekend of Prayer is also time for faith communities to honor the gifts of transgender people and to make or renew commitments to working for transgender justice.
A Note about the Weekend of Prayer
The National Weekend of Prayer has been a recurring project of the Religious Institute, in response to U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning sexual and gender justice. Past national weekends of prayer have focused on access to abortion and the freedom to marry. Although these weekends of prayer have focused on Supreme Court cases, we recognize the inherent disparity around who gets chosen to represent various communities as plaintiffs in such cases, and the role that privilege and respectability play in such decisions.
We hold Gavin Grimm in love and prayer, as no teenager should be asked to shoulder the burden that he has taken on, and we also recognize that day in and day out, the suffering of transgender people, particularly those who are women, people of color, youth, elders, disabled, and undocumented, goes unnoticed by the mainstream. So when the Supreme Court decided not to hear Gavin’s case, we decided to broaden the scope of prayer that was already in motion. Given the real impact of oppression and violence on the lives of trans people, every day needs to be a day of prayer for transgender justice.