Clergy protest legislation targeting transgender children in Missouri

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Maharat Rori Picker Neiss is nervous now that her son can ride his unicycle on a high wire, a skill he honed pedaling up and down the streets of his Missouri neighborhood during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to bring a smile to the neighbors.He loves entertaining people, the 11-year-old told Religion News Service in an interview by phone, because he likes to see their faces, which look “like a happy kind of impressed.”
He watches the faces of state lawmakers when he testifies against legislation that impacts transgender children like him, too — like he did last week when he spoke to a Missouri House of Representatives committee about the impact of six bills making their way through the chamber that would limit medical care and athletic participation for transgender children.
They don’t exactly look happy or impressed. Some look bored. Some do “that kind of thing when you’re, like, nodding along and like, ‘I understand. I feel you.’
“I tried to make it, like, very clear that this bill would hurt kids,” said the boy, who asked not to be named.
He was accompanied by his mother — whose title “maharat” denotes a female rabbi — and other faith leaders, as well as at least two …

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