America’s Reform Jewish Movement — the largest branch of Judaism within the country — is getting ready to pass a historic resolution on transgender rights. The resolution calls for a number of measures to make the denomination more inclusive, such as gender neutral bathrooms within Reform congregations and day camps; the use of gender-neutral language at Reform institutions; sensitivity training for religious school staff and advocacy on behalf of the trans community. Though other religious bodies — like the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ — have affirmed the equality of trans and non-gender-conforming people, none have enacted measures as far-reaching as the ones being proposed by the Union for Reform Judaism. The resolution will be put to a vote on Thursday, at the movement’s biennial conference in Orlando. “This happening in the Reform movement has a bigger impact on the mainstream Jewish community, just in terms of sheer scope,” said Catherine Bell, national program director of Keshet, an LGBT Jewish organization. “I hope this paves the way for other denominations to also make similar steps.”
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