The Church of England’s General Synod passed a motion on welcoming transgender people that includes supporting a call for the House of Bishops to consider preparing liturgical materials to “mark a person’s gender transition,” the church reported Sunday.
The church announced in May it would be voting on the matter over the summer.
“I hope that we 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 Rev. Christopher Newlands said, opening debate on the issue.
Bishop of Worcester John Inge said during the discussion that “our response needs to be loving and open and welcoming and the passing of this motion would be a very important factor in that.”
Nick Land of the Diocese of York called for an amendment to the motion for the House of Bishops to instead consider the theological, pastoral and other issues around gender transition — but all three houses of Synod rejected the motion, the news release said.
The House of Bishops vote was 30 for and 2 against, with two abstentions; the House of Clergy vote was 127 for and 28 against, with 16 abstentions; the House of Laity vote was 127 for and 48 against, with 8 abstentions, the church said.
The passed motion reads: “That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”
A conservative Synod member, Clive Scowen, told Christian Today in May that he’s “far from convinced that surgical or medical intervention to try to reassign gender is a loving response. I do not think that Scripture supports the idea that gender, which is a physical fact about a person’s identity (whether assessed by reference to chromosomes or genitalia), can be changed; rather, I do believe that the Holy Spirit can bring change to how a person perceives gender to conform it to the physical facts.”
(H/T: Heat Street)