‘Shame on them’: Greensboro rabbi concerned about proposed bills targeting NC transgender community

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Greensboro rabbi is expressing his outrage over three bills he describes as anti-transgender introduced by North Carolina Republican lawmakers. 

Rabbi Fred Guttman says the bills specifically attack transgender youth. 

“There is no excuse for torturing and persecuting children and calling them out because God created them that way,” Guttman said. 

Guttman serves as the rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Greensboro. He says they’ve had three transgender children in their congregation, and he is a strong critic of the proposed bills. 

“I think that this is absolutely some of the worst legislation that I’ve ever seen in the history of this state because instead of working on the things that really need to be worked on, this goes back to like HB2, we are working on stupid stuff,” Guttman said. 

Activists say that five years after targeting transgender North Carolinians and the devastating impacts of what i’s still known as the “bathroom bill,” we are repeating mistakes of the past. 

“Instead of working on what needs to be worked on they’ve decided to do this, and I have to tell you shame on them for it,” Guttman said. 

A controversial bill that is intended to limit gender-related medical treatment for transgender people under 21 was sidelined this week. 

The office of North Carolina’s Republican Senate leader Phil Berger said, “they do not see a pathway to Senate Bill 514 becoming law.” They added, “the bill will not be voted on the Senate floor.” 

LGBTQ supporters also condemned a second bill that provides protections for medical providers who might object to providing services that “violates his, her, or its conscience.” They are also concerned about the Save Women’s Sports Act, introduced by House Republicans, banning transgender students from competing on sports teams that match their gender identity. 

“The people that are doing that need to be called out for what they are and that is that they are nothing less than people who want to bully children,” Guttman said. 

These bills, although not yet laws, are already leaving an imprint on transgender children for the rest of their lives. 

“I love those children as far as they are concerned, I’m their rabbi and as far as I’m concerned, they are my children, and I don’t want people in the state legislature messing around being cruel or bullying not only my children but our children,” Guttman said.

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