Conservative Values

(JTA) — The Jewish Theological Seminary joined other Jewish Conservative groups in a U.S. Supreme Court appeal against a presidential move that allows schools to decide who may enter gender-segregated bathrooms.

On Thursday, JTA wrote in a statement that it has joined an amicus brief designed to uphold the “rights of transgender students to use public school restrooms consistent with their gender identity.”

The March 2 appeal follows the decision last month by the administration of President Donald Trump to roll back guidelines issued by his predecessor, Barack Obama, ordering schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their perceived gender identities.

“JTS is compelled to act in the face of state and federal actions which undermine the Jewish principle of human dignity,” the organization wrote in the statement about its joining the amicus brief.

Other signatory bodies include the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and College, and several Christian bodies including the Unitarian Universalist Association and the General Synod of the United Church of Christ.

“In the Jewish tradition, public humiliation is tantamount to bloodshed,” JTA Chancellor Arnold Eisen wrote in the statement. “We will not stand idly by the blood of our fellow human beings. Laws such as the one at issue in the Supreme Court case have the effect, if not the purpose, of publicly humiliating transgender students by refusing them access to facilities consistent with their gender identities.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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