Cracking the Binary Code (article)

Cracking the Binary Code, Benny Hazlehurst

This paper offers a critique of the ‘binary’ nature of much biblical interpretation and ethical belief in the Church, rejecting simplistic ‘either-or’ approaches to both. Instead there is offered an interpretation of key biblical texts through the lenses of circumstances, needs and motivation. It is argued that, when these factors are taken into account, even for Evangelicals, there is no longer a substantive biblical case against the acceptance of faithful, loving same-sex partnerships and the development of a positive Christian ethic for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. At the very least, the complexity of the interpretive task must lead to greater openness to and acceptance of those from whom we differ.

Article [PDF].
A short introduction [Accepting Evangelicals Blog].

An Unfinished Reformation (article)

Susan Gilchrist (2013)

There were many doctrinal changes that the Church adopted in regard to the role of women, gender equality and transcendence and to gender and sexual variance during the first three centuries of its existence. This study uses the results of recent research on gender dysphoria and personality development as a tool to re-examine the historical backgrounds and the reasons for these changes.

The results of this analysis challenge many of the traditional doctrines that the Church has adopted on the role of women, gender equality and gender and sexual variance. In some Churches the social changes of the last fifty years have promoted a re-evaluation of Christian teaching, but also a retrenchment into literalism and fundamentalism in others. This analysis supports this re-evaluation and gives historical and theological support to the changes that are being made.

Please note that this material is offered for discussion and comment. It does not represent the current policy or the current attitude of the Coalition, or any of its constituent groups.

This document has been updated to include comments on the Pilling Report. (12 December 2013)

Article [PDF].

Write to your MP: SSM and trans* issues

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 was given Royal Assent on 17 July 2013, which means that “marriage of same sex couples is lawful”. Except that, currently, there’s no mechanism to “solemnise” them. In order for an Act of Parliament to take effect, it’s not sufficient for it to be passed and granted Royal Assent. It must be enabled, and this is done by a series of Statutory Instruments.

There are a number of areas which affect transgender people that should be of concern. Please read the article available via the link and make your views known to your Member of Parliament.

Article [PDF].

Church in Wales approves women bishops

Women bishops will be allowed in the Church in Wales following a landmark yes vote. Bishops within the Church tabled a bill calling for the change and it was finally accepted by its governing body after a previous vote in 2008 narrowly failed. In the breakdown of the current vote, the laity voted 57 for, 14 against, with two abstentions; the clergy section saw 37 voting for and 10 against, while the bishops voted unanimously in favour.

Peggy Jackson, Archdeacon of Llandaff, Cardiff, said: “This morning I wake up in a completely different world.” yesterday’s vote “was the day discrimination against women came to an end” but she added that people from both sides of the argument had to live together.

The Church of Ireland gave approval for women bishops in 1990 when its own General Synod passed legislation to ordain women as priests and bishops. In June 2003 the Church in Scotland voted to allow women to assume the rank. Now only the Church of England remains out of step. It is hoped that the voting in the November General Synod of the Church of England will rectify what is considered by many to be a gross injustice in the Church.

Article [Guardian].
Article [BBC].
Article [Thinking Anglicans].

Faith, Gender and Me (article)

Faith, Gender and Me, Elaine Sommers

This article gives a perspective on the gender issues from a transvestite or cross dresser rather than a transsexual point of view. It is presented as an interview with a single person but it describes some general experiences. The interview in the form presented did not take place.

Transvestites and cross dressers have a gender allegiance which accords with their biological sex. There is no desire to seek gender reassignment but there is often an overwhelming need to express the senses of cross gender identity that they do possess…

Article [PDF].

The Transsexual is my Neighbour: Pastoral Guidelines…

The Transsexual is my Neighbour: Pastoral Guidelines for Christian Clergy, Pastors and Congregations, Christina Beardsley

Document [PDF].

This is also available in booklet form from The Gender Trust at PO Box 3192, Brighton, BN1 3WR. An alternative abbreviated version of the document is given in the information sheet section of the Gender Trust website at: www.gendertrust.org.uk.

The full document contains an appendix on intersex conditions: Appendix [PDF].

Transsexual people cover the whole range of sexuality. However the priority is to be oneself. Many seek gender reassignment by surgery to make the body match the sense of gender that is felt inside.