D029 Affirming Non-Binary Access and Leadership
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring,
That the 80th Convention affirm that “[n]o one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, governance, or employment of this Church” due to “gender identity and expression” (Title I, Canon 17, Sec. 5); and be it further
Resolved, That this Convention affirm that “no person shall be denied access to the discernment process or to any process for the employment, licensing, calling, or deployment for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church” due to “gender identity and expression” (Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2); and be it further
Resolved, That non-binary as well as binary identified transgender and cisgender people are included in the phrase "gender identity and expression,” and that the provisions of these canons apply equally to people of all genders.
For well over a decade, The Episcopal Church (via General Convention resolutions 2009-D032, 2012-D002, 2012-D019, 2018-A284, and 2018-C022) has made public commitments to support transgender people, both those who are binary (male or female) and who are non-binary (neither male nor female). When The Episcopal Church added the phrases “gender identity and expression” or “gender identity or gender expression” to our nondiscrimination canons, we sought to safeguard fair, free, and equal access to all parts of our Church’s life together as the Body of Christ for all gender diverse individuals. Yet people whose gender is non-binary, whose pronouns may be they/them rather than the binary pronouns he/him or she/her, continue to experience barriers to congregational life and leadership. These barriers have included the incorrect assertion that “gender identity and expression” only applies to binary transgender people (e.g. transgender men or transgender women), or that coming out as transgender and/or non-binary during the process toward ordination requires completely reapplying to the ordination process. Therefore, this resolution unambiguously affirms that non-binary as well as binary people—indeed, people of all genders – are in fact covered by the language of “gender identity and expression” in our nondiscrimination canons.