Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It’s Official: Episcopal Church Welcomes Transgender People

It’s Official: Episcopal Church Welcomes Transgender People

July 9 was a historic day for the Episcopal Church as it declared that gender identity and gender expression are not reasons for excluding someone from the discernment process for ordination, nor from any other activity or lay position in the Church.

In 1994, the Episcopal Church expanded its non-discrimination rules to include “sexual orientation,” but it has taken a great deal of patient work from transgender people and their allies to bring the Church to this point. Integrity's President, Caroline Hall explained, “just as the Church began to accept gay and lesbian members and clergy as fellow members of the Church with just as real a relationship with God, so over the past five years, trans-men and -women have become visible. Their ministry among us has been exemplary and they have worked tirelessly to help the Church understand that to be transgender is as valid a human experience and as acceptable to God as to be happily heterosexual.”

A few months before General Convention, Integrity released a new video in the acclaimed “Voices of Witness” series. Called “Out of the Box,” this video tells the story of transgender Episcopalians, both ordained and lay, in their own words. It was sent to all deputies and bishops before the Convention began, but demand has been high. Matt Haines, Integrity Vice-President for Local Affairs, said, “They’ve been going like hotcakes. People really love Out of the Box and want to take it home to share with their friends and parishes.” It is also available on YouTube.

For more information contact:
Louise Brooks, Director of Communications
Integrity USA

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