Leaders of faith divided on House Bill 2

Published: May. 19, 2016 at 7:05 PM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 7:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Leaders of faith seem as divided on House Bill 2 as the rest of the country.

According to a CBS News/New York Times Poll, While 46% of Americans think transgender people should use the bathrooms assigned to their birth gender, slightly fewer – 41% - think they should be able use the bathroom of the gender they identify as.

A similar divide exists between churches and places of worship in Charlotte.

A coalition of interfaith clergy convened Thursday morning at St. Peter's Episcopal Church to speak out against HB2.

These faith leaders, including more than 100 clergy from North Carolina, say HB2 compromises our nation's values. They're calling for its immediate repeal.

"I hope that it encourages [law makers] to dig down a little bit and think about what fear is motivating this, and to remember that perfect love casts out fear," said Joslyn Schaefer of St. Peters Episcopal Church.

Dr. Mark Harris, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Charlotte, sees HB2 in a different light. He said Charlotte leaders created controversy over something that should be cut and dry.

"It was a matter of common sense from the beginning that we didn't want men in women's bathrooms," Harris said. "The way the Charlotte ordinance was drawn up, it was based primarily on feelings that an individual felt. They didn't have to be presenting as any particular sex."

The CBS News/New York Times Poll stated that most Americans think guidelines outlining the bathroom policies for transgender children in school should be set by local and state governments, not by the federal government.

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