Church of England Votes to Consider Celebrating Transgenders’ Transition
The Church of England voted Sunday during its General Synod to consider special services for transgender people to welcome them and mark their transition The General Synod, which began in York on Friday, lasts four days.
Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory church, proposed the motion. “I hope that we can make a powerful statement that we believe trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them,” said Newlands.
The motion suggested that there is a need for transgender people to be “affirmed” and “welcomed” in their church, reported the BBC.
The Synod rejected an amendment to the motion asking bishops to think about theological, pastoral and other issues around the motion.
“Theology has to be done” by the House of Bishops, but “it can be done very quickly,” said the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend John Sentamu.
Sentamu said that the world needs to hear the Church say that LGBT orientation and identity is not a crime. “LGBT orientation and identity is not a sickness,” he added, “and LGBT orientation and identity is not a sin.” Further, the synod overwhelmingly voted to ban conversion therapy for LBGT Christians, curiously arguing that the Bible does not condemn gender transition or homosexuality.
However, Leviticus 18:22, among other verses, clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 20:13 is even harsher:
If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
Romans 1:26-28 as well, speaks of the “shameful lusts” of homosexuality.
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby said that the Church of England will spend three years working on a document that will outline its new view on sexuality.