By Victor Ochieng
The LGBTQ must be in celebration following the Church of England’s decision to welcome transgender persons and reaffirm the lifestyle. Whereas several officials didn’t publicly talk about the issue or the meeting, some bishops went as far as saying transgenderism isn’t a sin.
The decision came about last Sunday during a York meeting that brought together members of the church’s governing body. Besides welcoming transgenders to their sanctuaries, they’re also contemplating preparing material to help individuals going through gender transition.
“As the world listens to us today, the world needs to hear us say that LGBTI orientation and identity is not a crime, not a sickness and not a sin,” Right Reverend Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool, said during a debate surrounding the motion.
Below is part of the well-prepared motion about welcoming transgender persons into their parishes:
“That this Synod, recognizing 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.”
The motion was passed in such a manner that it gave the impression that many of the church’s leaders were just waiting for the opportunity to register their approval, considering that it sailed through the three houses that steer the affairs of the synod, namely, the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity, doing so with a clear majority. Dr. Nick Land of the Diocese of York implored the House of Bishops through an amendment to the motion to “consider the theological, pastoral and other issues around gender transition.” That amendment was however rejected.
When it comes to marriage, however, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, reaffirmed the church’s position on marriage, which states that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Clearly, that statement differs from that of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which gave a nod to same-s*x marriage last month.
The church still remains a little confused about how to handle s*xuality. Speaking to BBC News, Welby said they’ll take three years to focus on developing the church’s position on s*xuality.
While some religious leaders welcomed the development, some Anglican Church leaders don’t consider the move spiritually progressive, with some claiming it’s nothing more than bowing to external pressure from the environment.