In light of recent anti-trans legislation in several states across the United States, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), has spoken out against these discriminatory measures. In a statement released in March 2023, Nelson conveys, “Currently, there are over 160 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills pending in state legislatures and more to come. This type of injustice cannot be ignored.”

Nelson emphasized that the Presbyterian Church (USA) affirms the full humanity and worth of all people, including transgender individuals. He stated that the church stands in solidarity with the transgender community and called on all people of faith to join in opposing these harmful and unjust laws.

Nelson also highlighted the particular harm that these laws pose to transgender youth, who already face high rates of bullying, discrimination, and suicide. He urged lawmakers to prioritize the well-being and safety of all children and to reject any legislation that would harm vulnerable young people.

PC(USA) has a long history of advocating for the rights of marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ individuals. In 2018, the General Assembly voted unanimously to pass three overtures pertaining to gender and sexuality, including statements on encouraging congregations to fully include trans and nonbinary folks in the life of the church. Links to these overtures can be found here.

PC(USA) continues to work towards creating a more just and equitable society, where all people are valued and affirmed for who they are.

Nelson’s full statements can be found in the links below.