Friday, July 17, 2009

Episcopal Church Goes on Record in Support of Transgender Civil Rights


Press Release:


Anaheim, CA (July 17, 2009):  For the first time in its history, the Episcopal Church has taken 

official actions in support of transgender civil rights and inclusion at its 76th General Convention.   


“It was a true privilege to participate in the legislative process of this Church, to bear witness to 

transgender lives and experiences, and to urge the Episcopal Church to fully include and to stand 

in solidarity with us,” commented the Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge, a member of TransEpiscopal 

and Integrity USA. “I am thrilled to be able to say that the General Convention voted 

overwhelmingly to put the Episcopal Church on record in support of such legislation as the 

Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes Act and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, and analogous 

efforts at municipal and state levels.  But I am even more moved to say how many people 

spontaneously shared with us how their eyes have been opened, their hearts turned, by our 

presence and stories here.  To have someone stop me in a coffee line to say, ‘I had never thought 

about this issue before, and I’m going to take what I have learned here and share it with my little 

congregation in the Ozarks’ means more than I can say.” 


Today the Convention completed approval of resolutions supporting the enactment of anti- 

discrimination and hate crimes legislation protecting transgender people at local, state and 

federal levels. The House of Deputies passed these resolutions overwhelmingly on Wednesday, 

and the House of Bishops then approved these resolutions today in near-unanimous votes.  


These actions took place as the United States Congress debates both the Matthew Shepherd Hate 

Crimes Act and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which respectively address hate crimes 

and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as well as gender identity and expression. 


Testifying in hearings at various levels of the Convention were representatives of the 

organizations TransEpiscopal and Integrity USA, including the Episcopal Church’s first openly 

transgender Deputy, Dee Tavolaro of Rhode Island


In addition to today’s actions, earlier this week the Convention approved two other resolutions.  

The first adds “gender identity and expression” to its nondiscrimination policy for hiring lay 

employees, while the second calls for the revision of church paper and electronic forms to allow 

a wider range of gender identifications.  


“As we celebrate this moment and give thanks for the amazing allies walking with us, 

particularly Integrity USA and the Consultation, we look forward to progressing further toward 

full inclusion of transgender people —and, indeed, all people -- in all areas of ministry in The 

Episcopal Church.” 



Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge at  

Rev. Michelle Hansen at  

or see TransEpiscopal's website at




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