Resolution #8: Affirming Non-Binary and Transgender Identities

Secretary of the Convention

Last Update
October 25th
, 2021

Status
The Convention passed this resolution on October 23rd, 2021.

Resolved That the 172nd Convention of the Diocese of California calls upon the Diocese and all its institutions and congregations to fully embrace, respect and uphold transgender and nonbinary people in all facets of its life, particularly by facilitating access to health care and insurance for employees that wholly affirm the gender identities of nonbinary as well as binary-identified people; respecting and using individuals’ pronouns including “they/them”; avoiding using exclusionary binary language; and supporting nonbinary and/or transgender youth and their families;  

Resolved, That this Convention directs the Secretary of the Convention to write to the Church Pension Group (CPG) and the Episcopal Church Medical Trust (ECMT) calling upon them to change internal systems and actively work with healthcare and other benefits providers with which they contract to cease perpetuating harmful and discriminatory practices that force choosing only male or female as a condition of obtaining healthcare and retirement benefits for gender-diverse employees; and

 

Resolved, That this Convention hereby creates a Trans and Nonbinary Task Force charged with presenting to the 173rd Convention of the Diocese of California a final report that includes a set of guidelines for Diocesan institutions and congregations to assess their practices, to educate lay and ordained employees and congregations, and to develop plans to become more fully welcoming and inclusive of trans and nonbinary people; that this Task Force shall consist of no fewer than 7 and no more than 11 members, with preference given to those who are nonbinary, trans, and/or gender-diverse or who have personal and/or professional experience with the trans and nonbinary communities; with the Task Force Chair and half the other members to be appointed by the Bishop and the remainder to be appointed by the Chair of Executive Council.

 

Explanation

For well over a decade, the Diocese of California and The Episcopal Church (via General Convention resolutions 2009-D0322012-D002, 2012-D0192018-A284, and 2018-C022) have made public commitments to support transgender people, both those who are binary (male or female) and who are nonbinary (neither male nor female) identified. Nevertheless, trans and especially nonbinary people continue to encounter a range of barriers from church forms to liturgical language that assume only binary gender identities, to lack of access to all-gender restrooms.

Further, the Episcopal Church Medical Trust and the Church Pension Group, which administer employment benefits for The Episcopal Church, still require employees to declare their gender as “M” or “F,” even when these options are inappropriate or unnecessary, especially for gender-diverse Californians recognized with an “X” on their state issued IDs. This pattern of misgendering—that is, using pronouns (e.g., he, she, him, her, they, them), salutations (e.g., Mr., Ms., Mx., sir, madam) and gender markers (male, female, nonbinary) that do not align with an individual’s gender identity—causes harm and falls short of our Baptismal Covenant commitment to respect the dignity of every human being.

Submitted by
The Rev. Cameron Partridge (he/him), Rector, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, San Francisco - rector@staidansf.org;
The Very Rev. Malcolm C. Young (he/him), Dean of Grace Cathedral;
The Rev. Iain Stanford (he/him), Rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Redwood City;
The Rev. Dr. Vicki Gray, Deacon (she/her).

 

Endorsed by
Jack Fagan (he/him), Canon Director of Operations, Grace Cathedral;
dc (they/them), Associate Director of Facilities, Grace Cathedral;
Jeffrey Hookom (he/him), former Canon Precentor, Grace Cathedral; St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, San Francisco.

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