A transgender pastor in Texas has lashed out against the controversial bathroom bill that would require individuals to use public bathrooms that correspond with their biological sex. The pastor reportedly declared that "God is transgender" during a protest on Tuesday.
The Rev. S. David Wynn, a senior pastor at Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth, Texas, protested against Senate Bill 6 with hundreds of LGBTQ advocates outside the state capitol in Austin.
The bill, proposed in January, would require individuals to use restrooms and changing facilities in public schools and government buildings that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificates.
Wynn was among the 200 people who testified against the proposal during a public hearing with the Senate State Affairs Committee that began on Tuesday and continued until Wednesday morning.
"In the beginning, God created humankind in God's image. ... So God is transgender," Wynn said during the protest, as reported by The Huffington Post. "We're all created in the image of what is holy and divine and sacred, and we should all be treated that way," he continued.
During Tuesday's hearing, Democratic state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. cited "God's creation" to justify his support for the bill. "God created everything as far as I'm concerned, but especially man and woman," he said.
However, Wynn denounced the senator's message during his address outside the Capitol.
"We're going to stop using God as an excuse to hate people," he said. "If God hates all the same people you do, then you've created God in your image," he added, paraphrasing author Anne Lamott.
The bill was approved by the committee on Wednesday by a vote of 7–1. It is now headed to the full Senate, where its passage is all but assured. A majority of Republicans have already voiced their support for the legislation.
Critics of the proposal argued that it engenders unconstitutional discrimination against transgender people while its supporters said that it will increase privacy and safety by keeping men out of women's bathrooms.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pushed for the bill's passage after former President Barack Obama's administration issued a directive for public schools to allow students to use bathrooms according to their gender identity. The administration of President Donald Trump rescinded the rule last month, stating that the issue should be left to the states.