To the editor:

Imagine, the eight pastors making this proclamation.

"As pastors of various churches serving many families and individuals in Hastings, we are excited about efforts now underway in Hastings to confront and eliminate all forms of prejudice, bullying, and mistreatment directed toward any marginalized subgroup."

The next expected statement would be a proclamation: "We love all of God's children, all are welcome here, all will be loved and supported. Please come and worship with us and experience God's, divine love."

In 2018, a group of Hasting's clergies wrote a document called "Our Thoughts Concerning the Promotion of Transgenderism." Unfortunately, and reprehensibly, the letter goes on to promote hate, fearmongering and imploring the Hastings community to embrace the position espoused in the letter.

The letter's focus is on gender dysphoria, a subset of the gender spectrum. There are many dimensions of gender, the letter selects one - identity.

Why did the pastors choose the identity dimension? Frankly, I believe that this dimension is a calculated selection, it provides a more hidden and less understood aspect of the gender spectrum. I believe that the pastors would not have made this distinction between the gender dysphoria and the LGBTQ grouping if it were not for the issue of individuals who could use cross-gender hygiene spaces.

The listed men appear to have concerns about individuals whose birth genitalia that specified male/female gender could possibly use the opposite gender bathrooms, showers, etc. Truth be told, these men don't care about gender dysphoria or LGBTQ populations, they all belong to a marginalized group and are disposable.

These men identify a sub-group of the LGBTQ population who may or may not be experiencing some unease or questioning about who they are, these same men fail to address their own homophobic dysphoria with themselves. Do they not see the hypocrisy in their reasoning?

Please read scripture and verse: Matthew 7:5 "You Hypocrite."

For them to call out marginalized groups reminds me of the historical treatment of people of color by the churches across America. Whether the debate was about desegregation, education, interracial marriage, safety or the use of public restrooms, the messaging was and is still the same today, the further marginalization and the disposing of people who are defenseless. Hate has no place in this community, especially from its "spiritual leaders."

Dozier Hunter