Episcopal Church Non-Binary

Episcopal Church Bishops Pledge Transgender and Non-Binary Support

Jeffrey Walton on March 23, 2022

Bishops of the Episcopal Church on Friday adopted a pastoral statement critical of U.S. states that have enacted policies opposed by transgender activists, including laws banning irreversible surgeries on minors to remove healthy reproductive organs.

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops voted to adopt the resolution during an in-person spring retreat held March 15-21 at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas. Bishops were unanimous according to a media release distributed by the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs.

The bishops’ statement, introduced by Episcopal Diocese of Texas Bishop Suffragan Kai Ryan, voices “love and continued support for all persons who identify as transgender or non-binary and their families.” It goes on to “decry legislative initiatives and governmental actions targeting trans children and their families.”

The resolution specifically names Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, Florida, Arkansas, Ohio, North Dakota, Mississippi, South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana and South Carolina.

According to the church’s media release, Episcopal Diocese of Texas Bishop Andrew Doyle urged the naming of specific instances of alleged bigotry against persons who identify as transgender.

In February, Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate any reported instances of minors “being subjected to abusive gender-transitioning procedures.”

One child abuse investigation involving the sex transition of a 16-year-old was temporarily halted by a state judge on March 2, but other investigations continue.

Transgender activists regard such surgical operations as “gender-affirming care”, while opponents cite an increasing number of “de-transitioned” persons who changed their minds and now regret lost fertility.

Texas law prohibits minors from undergoing reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs.

The bishops’ pastoral statement follows earlier resolutions enacted by the Episcopal Church General Convention in 2018 in support of persons identifying as transgender or non-binary. In one resolution, introduced by the Episcopal Diocese of California, bishops and deputies directed the church’s public policy office “to advocate for passage of federal legislation that protects transgender and gender non-conforming persons from discrimination.”

That legislation, known as the Equality Act, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019 and 2021 but was not taken up by the U.S. Senate.

The General Convention voted to oppose “all legislation that restricts public restroom, locker room and shower access for transgender and gender non-conforming people.”

The Episcopal Church does not presently have bishops identifying as transgender or non-binary, however a small but growing number of clergy do. In 2018 an Episcopal Diocese of Washington resolution called upon the denomination’s General Convention to “avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.” The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan in December 2021 criticized the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette and in a statement invited Catholics who identify as transgender to join the Episcopal diocese.

Episcopal Church embrace of transgender and non-binary identities stands apart from that of the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant body.

“The young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created,” Pope Francis wrote in his 2016 exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

The Southern Baptist Convention voted in 2014 to affirm “God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception—a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design (Ephesians 4:17–18).”

  1. Comment by MJ on March 23, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Notice the slippery language of “targeting transgender children and their families”. Clearly there is an assumption that the state legislation is designed to victimize a class of people. Likely they chose that language in order to enlist the support of even the conservative bishops (both of them). The resolution reminds me of the early days of the pro-LGBT agenda. Start with how we need to love and accept a certain group of oppressed people, then, after everyone is onboard, shift to outright affirmation of a behavior that the church has always considered sinful.

    Sad that there were no bishops with the backbone to challenge the assumptions.

  2. Comment by Tom on March 23, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    So the Episcopal Church has officially decided it isn’t shrinking fast enough?

  3. Comment by David S. on March 23, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    And today, not to be out done, the Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), followed suit.

  4. Comment by Steve on March 24, 2022 at 10:23 am

    See, there is already a Christian denomination that provides for the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. The Christian Church does not discriminate against LGBTQ+ members any more than the Christian Church discriminates against married heterosexual couples because the Catholic Church doesn’t allow their priests to marry. There are many denominations that meet the various needs of their congregants. That is how traditional UMC leaders should have responded years ago to LGBTQ+ activists in the UMC. That simple.

  5. Comment by td on March 24, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Steve- i agree. But that entails them leaving churches where they have invested much time, money, and relationships. So your advice is simple, bit it is very hard.

    As a clarification: the Roman Catholic Church does have some married priests, but the general rule forbids it.

    However, to my knowledge, every other Catholic church- ukrainian, greek, syriac, maronite, etc does not have this rule, so their priests tend to be married. The orthodox churches also have a married priesthood.

    The sacrament of ordination is valid regardless of a man’s marital or celibacy status. The celibacy rule is simply a rule. Because it is not doctrinal, someone could construe the rule as being discriminatory against married men.

    Also as a clarification, same sex (or opposite sex) sexual attraction does not invalidate an ordination.

  6. Comment by Tom on March 24, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    td, good comments. What most people don’t realize is that the Catholic Church is divided into “rites” (24 or so, if I remember.) By far the largest is the Latin Rite, which is the predominant rite in the US, and which does prohibit priests from marrying. This rule, however, wasn’t universally adopted within the Latin rite until the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215–and can be changed. Other “rites” (I’ve forgotten their names) can and do allow married priests, as you note.

    Also, pursuant to Benedict’s encyclical “Anglicanorum Coetibus,” any Episcipal congregation with a married priest can enter the Catholic church (with some changes) and keep a married priest if they have one. Not many Episcopal congregations have taken up this offer, but it does stand.

  7. Comment by Katherine on March 25, 2022 at 10:27 am

    More states should be on the honor roll of being criticized by the Episcopal Church for opposing the chemical and surgical mutilation of children. Let adults decide for themselves if they wish to take medications which may be dangerous for them or to have healthy body parts removed. This should not be done to children.

    It is sad to see the remaining two “conservative” bishops agreeing to this. The ACNA has a variety of problems, but at least it does not support unlimited abortion on demand or the irreversible damage to children which results from transgender “support” procedures.

  8. Comment by April User on March 25, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    Wow. These many states are more righteous than TEC!

  9. Comment by George (Episcopalian Out of Step) on March 25, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    The worldwide Anglican Communion (as the decennial Lambeth Conference) has never redefined “marriage” to contradict scripture. It is still held to be as ordained of God as “lifelong between a man and a woman.” All bishops and spouses within worldwide Anglicanism EXCEPT “spouses” of the same gender as the bishop. Teaching a spiritual truth by an object lesson from nature, Jesus said a “good tree” is known by it’s “good fruit.” Two people of the same gender can produce NO FRUIT so even nature shows it to be an absurdity! The Episcopal Church has always promoted judging our understanding of things by the “3-legged stool” of scripture, tradition and reason. All these perversities fail all three. So what, after these many centuries will be done about that? In predictable Leftist character they’ve “forgotten” the stool and descended to the ground and their descent will not end there!

  10. Comment by Jeff Lewis on March 28, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    One of the few things they actually believe is that anyone cares what they believe.

  11. Comment by Will on March 28, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    The Catholic Church does have some married priests. I think it’s restricted to a Protestant, married pastor who converts to Catholicism and is allowed to become a Catholic Priest. The Church, of course, doesn’t need this Protestant’s input about their rules, but I have always believed that the celibacy/chaste requirement has contributed greatly toward their homosexual scandals.

  12. Comment by Bradley Hutt on March 29, 2022 at 5:40 am

    TEC is the Gay Church of Social Justice, what else should we expect from such an Unchurch? Stand up ye Laity, you are being devoured by ravenous wolves in the pulpits of your churches. Do you not know what is going on? still not getting involved in church politics? or that will never happen in our Parish? Try to leave with your property.

  13. Comment by Sam Setliff on March 30, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Does anyone know if Bishop Greg Brewer of the diocese of Central Florida attended this meeting? The press release said the vote was unanimous, so if he was there, apparently h voted for it.

  14. Comment by AHansen on March 30, 2022 at 9:58 am

    They truly have become the corrupt church. Maybe even pagan at this point. It’s been more than 20 years since I left the episcopal church, and I am still in shock at how low they keep sinking. That’s what happens when the middle voices drop out and you become your own echo chamber rather than turning to scripture. The leadership of that church will have to answer to the Lord someday.

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