In 2016 and 2017 the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies Gay Clark Jennings, as well as the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, have gone out of their way to advocate for transgender people. We thank them for their consistent support.
- Presiding Bishop responds to Trump’s transgender military ban (July 28, 2017) [Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] “I am compelled to oppose these actions and to affirm the moral principle of equal rights for all persons, including the LGBTQ communities,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry stated in his statement. “I do so as a follower of Jesus Christ, as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and as a citizen who loves this country.”
- Curry, Jennings urge Texas House leader to continue opposition to Texas ‘bathroom bill’ noting General Convention planned 2018 meeting in Austin (July 20, 2017) Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have written a second letter to Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus urging him to stand firm in his opposition to that state legislature’s effort to pass a “bathroom bill” during the current special session. The full article, with letter, can be read here.
- Curry, Jennings support advocacy against Texas ‘bathroom bill,’ noting General Convention planned 2018 meeting in Austin (February 6, 2017) Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, have written to the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives to praise his opposition to a so-called “bathroom bill” in that state. The full article, with letter, can be read here.
- Casting Out Fear: Ending Transgender Discrimination: A Letter from Presiding Bishop Curry and President Jennings (June 28, 2016)
At its June meeting the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church passed a very strong resolution decrying the wave of anti-trans bills that have been sweeping the country. On June 28, 2016, Presiding Bishop Curry and the President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings released this powerful letter lifting up that resolution and calling all of us to continue in the hard work before us. The leadership and members of TransEpiscopal are sincerely grateful to our church's leadership for the support, solidarity and encouragement in these difficult days. The full letter can be read here.
This support builds on changes to church legislation and policy for which TransEpiscopal has advocated since 2006. Here is a summary of the resolutions in support of the full embrace of trans people that the General Convention has passed thus far:
- D090— encouraged inclusive self-identification on all church forms to create flexible options for people to identify their gender, names, and preferred pronouns
- C048 put the Episcopal Church on record in support of a fully trans inclusive version of the Federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act
- D012 put the Episcopal Church on record in support of fully trans inclusive nondiscrimination and hate crimes laws at the local, state and federal levels
- D032 declared that lay employees in the Episcopal Church are not to be discriminated against on the basis of several demographic designations, including gender identity and expression
- D002 added “gender identity and expression” to Canon III.1.2 re: nondiscrimination in access to discernment for the ordination process
- D019 amended Canon I.17.5 (aka “the Rights of the Laity”), clarifying that “No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this Church” on the basis of “gender identity and expression,” among a number of other demographic categories
- D022 called for a church wide response to the epidemic of bullying based on a number of categories, including gender identity and expression
- D036 "Adding Name Change Rite to the Book of Occasional Services”. This resolution called upon the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) to include a name change rite in its proposed comprehensive revision of the Book of Occasional Services (BOS). The rite is to be adaptable for various life and circumstances, including the name changes of trans people.
- D037 “Amending Names in Church Records, Registries and Certificates”. This resolution requested a study with recommendations to be brought to the 79th General Convention regarding the pastoral need to allow church records and registries to be changed and certificates to be reissued to reflect a person’s new legal name. It called for several groups to be consulted as part of this process, including transgender people.
- D028 “Oppose Conversion Therapy”. This resolution put the 78th General Convention on record in support of legislation banning state-licensed therapists from engaging in scientifically discredited and dangerous practices that try to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
- A051 "Support LGBT African Advocacy". This resolution, "encourage[d] parishes, dioceses, especially those with companion relationships in Anglican Africa, as well as advocacy groups, to build relationships with African Anglican scholars and activists who are working to advance generous understandings of the Bible that affirm the dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people."
- Addendum to Resolutions A073 & A074: these resolutions called for an update of TEC's Model Policies & Resources for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and Abuse of Youth and Children, including "the creation of inclusive policy and practices in regard to LGBTQ and gender variant" children, youth, participants, and leaders.
- A284 added nondiscrimination protections on the basis of gender identity and expression (among several other categories) to the context of employment in Canons I.17.5 and III.1.2. In the latter canon the existing language that read “No person shall be denied access to the discernment process” now also has “or to any process for the employment, licensing, calling, or deployment.” The canon’s final sentence also has some slight additions: “No right to employment, licensing, ordination, call, deployment, or election is hereby established.”
- D069 called for the gathering of statistical information and stories about employment and compensation for LGBTQ clergy. We worked with deputies Vanessa Glass and M.E. Eccles of the dioceses of California and Chicago, respectively, to support its passage.
- A143 acknowledged “that there has not been adequate investment in the career development of women, transgender, non-binary, and racial/ethnic minority clergy at multiple levels” and “that an appropriate interim body be assigned the task to study these concerns and make a report, including analysis and recommendation for improvements, to the 80th General Convention.”
- C022 called upon Episcopalians to “support legislative, educational, pastoral, liturgical, and broader communal efforts that seek to end the pattern of violence against transgender people in general and transgender women in particular, calling attention especially to the rising violence against transgender women of color and gender non-conforming people.” It further calls congregations “to remove barriers to full participation in congregational life by making their gender-specific facilities and activities fully accessible to all, regardless of gender identity and expression.”
- C054 asked the Church to work with the Office of Formation in partnership with organizations such as Integrity (now the Episcopal Rainbow) and TransEpiscopal to establish “Guiding Principles for the Inclusion of Transgender and Non-Binary People in Dioceses, Parishes, Missions, Schools and Camps.”
- A088 affirmed trans and nonbinary people, as well as cisgender people in various life circumstances, in our ability to have our names and gender markers amended in Church records and to have certificates such as baptism and ordination reissued. The guidelines for doing so could be out as early as this year, or no later than the end of 2019.
- A128 authorized the digital release of the portion of the Book of Occasional Service that includes a Name Change Rite.
- A068 authorized the beginning of a process of Prayer Book revision in a significantly modified form. A task force was created to begin that process.
- B012 took an important step forward in ensuring that sacramental marriage equality is accessible across the whole church.