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Opinion

The Church of England Moves to Include Transgender People

While the United States has consistently been boasting record high violence and homicide rates against transgender women and boasts a vice president who doesn’t think trans people have the right to use public restrooms, across the pond, the Anglican Church is officially moving towards including transgender people.

The Guardian reports that the “General Synod [the Church’s ruling body] is considering a motion on the need for transgender people to be ‘welcomed and affirmed in their parish church’ as part of the ‘long and often complex process’ of transition.” If the vote goes through, bishops will additionally consider whether special liturgies “might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”

Anglican Church bishops also backed a motion calling for a ban on “unethical” conversion therapy for gay Christians, which, again, is more than we in the United States can say of our vice president, Mike Pence, one day before introducing this motion to promote trans rights.

Whether or not a trans individual can be baptized again after transitioning is currently sparking some internal controversy in the church, but still, this news coming less than two weeks since Pride month turned up record-breaking numbers in the streets of London, is refreshing nonetheless.

Too often, religion is cited as justification for ideologies and laws that discriminate against, demonize, and marginalize transgender people, despite the Bible saying nothing about transgender rights. But now, at least in one part of the world, it looks like this is about to change.

The motion was introduced by Representative Chris Newlands, who said he hopes 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.”

Newlands also told The Telegraph the motion is “a wonderful opportunity to create a liturgy which speaks powerfully to the particularities of trans people, and make a significant contribution to their well-being and support.”

Meanwhile, in the United States, the GOP’s disastrous and unpopular health care bill could strip more than one million trans Americans of health insurance, and let’s not forget that trans people having the right to use restrooms, let alone go to church, remains hotly controversial. The United States has always prided itself on being the leader of the free world, but as demonstrated by the Anglican Church, clearly, we still have a lot to learn from other countries.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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