The General Synod of the Church of England has officially passed a motion welcoming and affirming transgender people to the church. A top bishop also declared that being LGBT is “not a sin.”
“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 that passed on Sunday reads.
As the official CofE website points out, the vote went overwhelmingly in favor of welcoming transgender people, with 30 for the motion and two opposed in the House of Bishops; 127 who backed the motion and 28 against it in the House of Clergy; and 127 for and 48 against in the House of Laity.
The Rev. Christopher Newlands of the Blackburn Diocesan Synod said at the beginning of the assembly: “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.”
During the synod’s weekend session, the church body also backed a motion calling for a ban on what critics have called “conversion therapy” for people with unwanted same-sex attractions.
The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. John Sentamu, who is one of the most senior officials in the CofE, declared: “As the world listens to us, the world needs to hear us say that LGBT orientation and identity is not a crime.”
“LGBT orientation and identity is not a sickness. And LGBT orientation and identity is not a sin,” Sentamu added, according to BBC News.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, said that he continues upholding the church’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov