More than 100 Louisiana religious leaders signed an open letter opposing legislation that would bar transgender athletes from competing on girls' sports teams in the state, The Hill reported.
Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish leaders from across Louisiana were among clergy members who signed the letter, The Hill said.
"Our sacred texts teach us how we should behave toward one another — that we must love one another as we love ourselves, that we must protect the vulnerable in our society, that we must recognize God’s image in everyone," the letter reads.
The correspondence attacks state Senate Bill 156 by saying the Bible opposes "impulses toward cruelty."
"Senate Bill 156, the so-called 'Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,' is ... full of cowardice and meanness and does nothing to make our shared society better," the letter reads, according to The Hill.
"It is cynical and frivolous, seeking to extract political advantage by playing upon people’s prejudices and fears. Worse than its lack of utility in addressing any actual problem in Louisiana, the bill is cruel."
The letter goes on to say the bill "targets those least able to defend themselves."
"Trans children, who are among the most vulnerable young people in our society, the most likely to be depressed, commit suicide and be victimized by peers," the letter said. "These children of God deserve our support and love and affirmation as they grow into adults, not our ridicule and scorn."
Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-La., vetoed the legislation, but the state Senate voted to override the veto.
The state House also must to vote to override the governor in order for the bill to become law. Republicans would need a two-thirds majority, which they do not have currently, according to Louisiana Illuminator.
The letter praised Edwards for his decision, and called the proposed legislation a "political ploy, happening at the expense of children."
"Let us come together instead to ensure that Louisiana’s children have food, shelter, education and love — the things mandated by the tenets of all our faiths and the only foundation upon which it will prove possible to build a stronger, more prosperous State," the letter read.
Transgender issues have been in the news around the country recently.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., last month signed into law the Fairness in Women's Sports Act, which bans transgender athletes in girls and women’s sports from middle school through college, including intramural competitions in the Sunshine State.
California added five more states to the list of places where state-funded travel is banned because of laws that discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community, the state attorney general announced June 28.
Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia were added to the list that now has 17 states where state employee travel is forbidden except under limited circumstances.
On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a major transgender rights case, leaving in place a lower court's ruling that a Virginia public school board acted unlawfully in preventing a transgender student from using a bathroom at his high school that corresponded with his gender identity.
On July 9, a federal judge temporarily blocked a new Tennessee law that would force businesses to put up warning signs if they allow customers to use restrooms that don’t match their recorded gender at birth.
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