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On Nov. 5, delegates to the Union for Reform Judaism’s 73rd Biennial convention unanimously adopted a resolution on the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. It was a moment of great pride and celebration, tempered by the knowledge that just two days earlier — and reflecting how much work remains to be done to ensure full inclusion and equality for the LGBT community nationwide — Houston voters overturned an ordinance that had established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people.
The URJ resolution was crafted and sponsored by the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism and the vote came after the adoption of a similar resolution by the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis. It not only affirms the work our movement is doing to make people of all sexual orientations and gender identities feel included, but also makes a clear and unequivocal statement of the values that are a hallmark of Reform Judaism.
In the spirit of the deeply held belief that all people are deserving of dignity and respect, our tradition teaches that every person is created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of the divine. We are all God’s children, with special and unique gifts to share with each other and the world.
We are also informed by our own history and are acutely aware that our journey out of slavery from Egypt didn’t happen overnight.