INDIANAPOLIS - The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops on Saturday approved a proposal that, if it survives a final vote, would give transgender men and women the right to become ministers in the church.
The House of Bishops voted at the church's General Convention to include "gender identity and expression" in its "non-discrimination canons," meaning sexual orientation, including that of people who have undergone sex-change operations, can not be used to exclude candidates to ministry.
The move comes nine years after the Episcopal Church, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, approved its first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, sparking an exodus of conservative parishes. The church now allows gay men and lesbians to join the ordained ministry.
The resolutions on gender would allow transgender individuals access to enter the Episcopal lay or ordained ministries, and extend the overall non-discrimination policy to church members.