Tasmanian Anglican Motion on Biological Sex Angers Trans Activists

Tasmania’s Anglican Synod has been accused of encouraging discrimination against transgender people after passing a motion calling on its schools and institutions to uphold the primacy of biological sex. Minutes of the recent Synod, show the peak church body passed a motion affirming biblical teachings that biological sex was “fundamental to being human” and “should be celebrated and respected as such”. The motion – moved by a priest concerned at the display of LGBTQI+ posters at a government primary school – urged “all our Anglican institutions, including schools and other agencies, to uphold and promote this biblical teaching”. Equality Tasmania spokesman Rodney Croome said the motion could encourage Anglican schools and other agencies to discriminate against transgender people. “For a quarter of a century, Tasmanian law has enshrined the principle of non-discrimination against transgender people, without any exemptions for faith-based organisations and without any obvious concern from people of faith,” he said.

“Now the Anglican Synod has passed a motion asserting the primacy of biological sex without regard to gender identity that I fear could encourage illegal discrimination against trans and gender diverse people, not only in the church but in Anglican schools and welfare agencies. “This fear is exacerbated by the Synod’s decision to vote against an amendment calling on Anglican parishes, schools, and agencies to ‘meet all legal requirements by which they are lawfully bound’.” The motion calls on church leaders and schools to “proclaim” its view on biological sex “with compassion and sensitivity”. It also licences Bishop Richard Condie – a leader in the breakaway, anti-gay marriage Southern Cross diocese – to “proactively advocate” for their right do this “without hindrance or discrimination”. Mr. Bowditch, of Lindisfarne parish on Hobart’s eastern shore, said the motion came after a long, unsuccessful battle to have “age inappropriate” posters removed from his daughter’s government primary school.

He said one of these, posted on the kindergarten class door, said “all sexualities, genders, identities and cultures are welcome at the school”. “What sort of sexualities are we welcoming at a kindergarten?” he said. Dr Condie rejected Equality Tasmania’s concerns. “The motion expresses the traditional teaching of the church on biological sex and encourages Anglican institutions to uphold that teaching,” he said. “The motion also expresses our desire to treat everyone with dignity, respect, compassion, and sensitivity regardless of gender. Our schools do not discriminate against people based on gender identity or sexual orientation.” Sydney transgender woman, former Anglican and current Uniting Church priest Reverend Josephine Inkpin described the motion as “ill-considered, under-informed and divisive”. “My own experience is that in affirming rather than denying our authentic God-given – not human-labelled – gender, transgender people are so much more fully incarnate, at peace and flourishing in our skins, biology and divine purpose,” she said.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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