Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trans Legislation at the General Convention: From 2006-2012 and Beyond

As the 78th General Convention approaches this week, here is a brief review of trans legislation that has come before the Convention in years past. As you can see from the shift between 2006 and 2012, and as previous blog posts narrate, we have come an incredibly long way. The five resolutions listed under 2015 begin to point to much work that we still need to do.


1)    C030 -- The Diocese of California referred a resolution to General Convention calling for the addition of “gender identity and expression” to the list of non-discrimination demographic categories in Canon III.1.2. The Committee on Canons took it up as resolution C030 (“On the Topic of Amending Canon III.1.2 [Of the Ministry of All Baptized Persons]”). As the legislative history reports, the committee recommended discharge and re-referral to the Committee on Ministry. As far as we know, that referral never happened, or was never acted upon by the Committee on Ministry. As the legislative history reports, “Resolution Died With Adjournment.”

2)    The Diocese of New York passed a resolution calling on TEC to come out in support of fully gender inclusive secular civil rights resolution (e.g. ENDA) but it got lost in the shuffle and somehow was never considered at this GC.


1)    D090— encouraged inclusive self-identification on all church forms, creating flexible options for people to identify their gender, names, and preferred pronouns. A question that lingered for us was the problem of amending registries and having certificates reissued (e.g. baptismal, confirmation or ordination) upon request after someone has changed their name (which is why a resolution addressing that has been submitted to GC 2015)

2)    C048 put TEC on record in support of a fully trans inclusive version of the Federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act 

3)    D012 put TEC on record in support of fully trans inclusive nondiscrimination and hate crimes laws at the local, state and federal levels 

4)    D032 (Nondiscrimination protection for lay employees in TEC) – declared that lay employees in TEC are not to be discriminated against on the basis of several demographic designations, including gender identity and expression

5)    C061 Canon Change re: Access to the Ordination process passed the HOD but failed in HOB (HOB actually amended it and sent it back to HOD, which declined to concur) 


1)    D002 added “gender identity and expression” to Canon III.1.2 re: nondiscrimination in access to discernment for the ordination process 

2)    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

3)    D022 called for a church wide response to the epidemic of bullying based on a number of categories, including gender identity and expression  


1)   D036 "Adding Name Change Rite to the Book of Occasional Services”. This resolution calls upon the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) to include the name change service from Changes: Prayers and Services Honoring Rites of Passage in its proposed comprehensive revision of the Book of Occasional Services (BOS). The rite is adaptable for various life and circumstances, including the name changes of trans people.

2)    D037 “Amending Names in Church Records, Registries and Certificates”. This resolution requests 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 calls for several groups to be consulted as part of this process, including transgender people.

3)    D028 “Oppose Conversion Therapy”. This resolution seeks to 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.

4) Addendum to Resolutions A073 & A074: these resolutions which call for an update of TEC's Model Policies & Resources for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct and Abuse of Youth and Children have received an addendum that "calls for the creation of inclusive policy and practices in regard to LGBTQ and gender variant individuals." As the Standing Commission on Lifelong Christian Formation & Education's explanation goes on to say, "we would like to recommend that the 78th General Convention... call for the creation of model policies to support ministries that safeguard the dignity of our LGBTQ children, youth, participants, and leaders."

5) A051 "Support LGBT African Advocacy". This resolution, which went to hearing this morning (6/24), "encourage 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."