Church of England to vote on baptism for transgender people to honour their new identity
The Church of England will hold a vote next month on whether to begin offering baptisms for post-op transgender people.
According to The Mail on Sunday, “liberal voices within the Church have argued that vicars have had to carry out unofficial services to welcome and accommodate transgender Christians, and have called on the community to embrace those who identify as such.”
However, conservatives have strongly opposed the idea, however, stating that it goes against tradition.
“We are sensitive to people who feel uncomfortable with their sex,” said General Synod member Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, “but Christian teaching is that God made us man and woman.”
Williams added that “the Church should help people to see the beauty of their God-given sex instead of confusing them.”
The Christian Post reports:
[The Rev. Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory], who is in a civil union with another man, said it is an “absolute trauma” to get through sex change surgery and face what he described as transphobic bullying.
“The Church needs to take a lead and be much more proactive to make sure they are given a warm welcome,” he urged at the time.
Andrew Symes, the executive secretary of the conservative Anglican Mainstream, said back then that such a motion would be challenged.
“It would be something that would go against the teachings of the Church up until now. It would be something that would cause controversy,” Symes said.
The upcoming vote takes place at a time when the Anglican Communion is facing great divisions when it comes to its definition of marriage.
The Episcopal Church in the U.S., which has backed gay marriage, was temporarily suspended last year after it said it will not be reversing its stance, with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby upholding that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Last week it was reported that the Church of Scotland is making steps toward conducting same-sex marriages.