My name is Rev. Loren McGrail, I am a resident of Holmdel and the interim pastor at Holmdel Community United Church of Christ. I am speaking out this evening on behalf of my congregation and our collective commitment to God’s call for inclusive love and justice for all. On behalf of my congregation, many of whom have attended and spoken already at local BOE meetings, I wish to make clear where our congregation stands with regard to this new proposal to repeal State Policy 5756, a non-binding policy created to help districts to counsel students who are gender non-conforming or identify as transgender.
We believe this repeal is a new effort to undermine the rights of the LGBTQ plus community and its youth, especially trans youth, in the guise of protecting parental rights. We believe it is not only fraught with legal problems but is a travesty of injustice for trans youth. As a church that has voted to be an Open and Affirming Church and flies the Pride flag, we have come here tonight to stand with our LGBTQ Plus siblings, parents, and grandparents against this latest attack on their rights. We have come here to stand up not only for their safety and protection but for their right to have their gender identities affirmed.
Let me be clear. We stand against any amendments or change to the existing State Policy 5756. And we are absolutely against repealing this important safe- guard for our children and the teachers and administrators who are charged with counseling them.
Our faith tells us that Jesus accepts us for who we are and that we are all made in God’s image. Our children and grandchildren deserve to live their lives safely. We will not condone this action or be silent. We ask that each board member consult their conscience and cast a vote that reflects the simple but poignant truth that all children deserve to be treated as with dignity and have rights to protection and safety.