Resolutions TransEpiscopal is Following

TransEpiscopal is supporting several resolutions here at #GC79. One of those, C022, passed the House of Bishops on July 6th and now heads to the House of Deputies. Originating from the Diocese of California, C022 calls the Episcopal Church to fully embrace and advocate for transgender and nonbinary people at all levels of the church’s life. Building on previous General Convention resolutions, it particularly highlights the wave of anti-transgender legislation that has increased across the country since the 78th General Convention and calls us to be especially mindful of the ways transgender women are dehumanized. It asks all of us to combat the intersection of racism and transmisogyny made horrifyingly visible in the high rates of violence against transgender women of color. It asks us to deepen our commitment to making our congregations fully welcoming to people of all genders in our practices and activities as much as in our facilities.

Resolution C054 is also headed to the House of Deputies. Originating from the Diocese of Virginia, it lifts up support for trans and nonbinary youth in camps and schools as well as congregational and diocesan life. In this, it builds on the excellent, all-gender inclusive work reflected in the newly released Model Policies & Resources for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and Abuse of Youth and Children, prompted by the 78th General Convention. The discussion of C054 in the committee on Christian Discipleship and Formation was especially moving, as committee members shared stories of the trans and nonbinary youth who are a strong part of their dioceses and congregations. We heard of one young person whose Confirmation affirmed their nonbinary gender identity with they/them/theirs pronouns.

And finally A088 is coming soon to the House of Deputies. This resolution is a result of D037-2015 “Amending Names in Church Records, Registries and Certificates.” It had called for a study of any canonical implications in amending one’s name and gender in church registers and in reissuing certificates. During this triennium the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons oversaw that study and the drafting of guidelines by Episcopal Church Canonical Archivist and Director Mark Duffy, in consultation with members of the trans community. Since it is nearly ready, with a few details still to be adjusted, this resolution simply asks that it be handed over to the Executive Council when it is ready—by the end of 2019 at the latest. This resolution has a very concrete, pastoral and even professional impact on trans and nonbinary people in the life of the church. The original D037 emerged as a result of requests from trans and nonbinary people who wanted assurance that their church documents – baptismal, confirmation, or ordination certificates, for instance – could be changed so as not disclose something about their personal and/or medical history without their knowledge. We are also happy to report that this is already occurring.

More is to come. Watch for D069 “Gather Annual Deployment and Compensation Data for LGBT and Gender Nonbinary Clergy” which we hope can help the church come to a fuller understanding of disparities that have long been experienced by LGBT and/or nonbinary clergy in the church.


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