Church of England leaders move to welcome transgender members

The Church of England’s ruling body has voted to ‘welcome and affirm’ transgender parishioners at a meeting in York last weekend.

The General Synod, the Anglican faith’s governing body, overwhelmingly passed the motion, with 284 votes for and 78 against.

The motion outlined that trans people should be made to feel welcome in their local parishes, and that bishops might consider preparing a new kind of liturgical ceremony to “mark a person’s gender transition.”

Chris Newlands, the vicar who put forward the motion, said he hopes that the Church of England “can make a powerful statement to say that we believe that trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them, and is present through all the twists and turns of their lives.”

The synod has also passed a motion to condemn “gay conversion therapy”, and to publicly brand the pseudo-psychology has having “no place in the modern world.”

“As the world listens to us the world needs to hear us say that LGBTI+ orientation and identity is not a crime,” Liverpool bishop Paul Bayes said.

“LGBTI+ orientation and identity is not a sickness. And LGBTI+ orientation and identity is not a sin.”

Church of England leaders are still, however, debating their official position on marriage equality.

Senior archbishops have set up a number of working groups to create a new document that outlines the church’s teachings on human sexuality, but they are not expected to report until 2020.

OIP Staff

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