Religious leaders and a Georgia family declare their opposition to SB140

Reverend Leo Seyij Allen, a transgender Baptist, knows firsthand what it is like to have suicidal thoughts.

Allen says he struggled with his identity as a teenager and got through it with the support of his adoptive family.

On Monday's “Closer Look,” Rose spoke with several guests about why they oppose passing SB140 into law.

The controversial law, recently signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, bans most medical therapies and hormone replacement therapies to confirm the gender identity of transgender children.

Rev. Allen, who now serves as campaign manager for Faith in Public Life in Georgia, began by explaining how he uses his life experiences to support others and offering encouragement to transgender youth.

“There are coalitions of hundreds of people of faith from all different faith systems and all walks of life who are here for you,” Allen said. “Who will not only pray, raise their voices and speak out, but will also show active solidarity to make sure that our children and our families are safe – to make sure that no law takes away the rights that God intended for us to have.”

Rebecca Stapel-Wax, executive director of Sojourn, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity, then spoke with Scott about the need for clergy to understand the full scope of pastoral care and the gravity of SB 140.

“I think people often don't feel good enough in religious communities,” says Stapel-Wax. “They don't have the language. They don't have the texts they can rely on.”

Most recently, Rose spoke with the Frame family. The family of four spoke about their experiences raising and caring for a child who identifies as age/nonbinary.

“Children want to know how they can help. How they can help decision makers to see them – and that is difficult,” said Naimah Oladuwa. “It is difficult when you are talking about a conservative-leaning state and about advocacy and youth representation and what is important. And as you know, we try to have open conversations. There are no secrets in our house.”