The largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S. called on Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear to block legislation banning transgender procedures for minors a day before he vetoed it.
Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, who serves as the stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), issued a statement last Thursday noting that while Beshear was expected to veto SB 150, “it may not be enough.”
“Kentucky’s Republican lawmakers are joining their counterparts in several other states in a move designed to commit further violence against and deny the rights of transgender siblings of God and they likely have the votes to override any veto,” Nelson said.
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Beshear on Friday vetoed legislation that prohibits transgender procedures for minors, as well as restricts bathrooms based on biological sex. The bill also bans instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools and empowers teachers to decline using a student’s preferred pronoun.
The GOP-led Kentucky Legislature passed the bill with sufficient votes to override a veto when they reconvene Wednesday for the last two days of their legislative session.
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Nelson claimed the bill would “have an overwhelming negative impact on transgender youth across the state” as well as “deny the rights of transgender siblings of God.”
“The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) strongly affirms the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender people, passing a resolution in 2014 to hold them in prayer in countries where they are vulnerable,” he said.
Nelson also implied the bill effectively denies that transgender people are created in God’s image. “We are called to challenge any judicial process that says we are not created in the image and likeness of God,” he wrote.
Beshear appealed to his own faith when he vetoed the bill, saying, “I believe every single child is a child of God,” according to The Associated Press.
The PCUSA has approximately 1.1 million active members, but has been rapidly losing numbers during the past decade. It reported having about 700,000 more members in 2012 and has lost about 51,000 members since 2021, according to its most recent annual report.
A spokesperson for the PCUSA told Fox News Digital that the denomination had nothing further to add beyond the stated clerk’s statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.