The Church of England has voted to welcome transgender members to the Anglican faith by offering possibly special services to "welcome and affirm [trans members]" as part of the "long and often complex process" of transition., according to The Guardian.
The Guardian reports that the General Synod, the Church's ruling body, voted in overwhelming favor of affirming its trans members on Sunday. The motion stated that transgender people will be "welcomed and affirmed in their parish church," and that bishops will consider whether special liturgies "might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition."
The motion for greater acceptance was introduced by Representative Chris Newlands, who said that 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 said it was "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," The Telegraph reports.
The motion's background paper urged bishops to consider giving out "liturgical materials which may be used in parish churches and chaplaincies to provide a pastoral response to the need of transgender people to be affirmed following their long, distressing and often complex process of transition."
The vote came 24 hours after the Church also took a stance against conversion therapy, backing a motion to condemn the dangerous and outdated practice.
"As the world listens to us the world needs to hear us say that LGBTI+ orientation and identity is not a crime," Paul Bayes, bishop of Liverpool, said during the vote. "LGBTI+ orientation and identity is not a sickness. And LGBTI+ orientation and identity is not a sin."
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