Church of England Approves Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy, Moves to Embrace Transgender Members

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(EDGE) As thousands packed the streets of London last weekend to take part in the city's LGBT Pride festivities, 200 miles away in York, under much quieter circumstances, the promise of true pride for the country's LGBT faithful was coming to fruition.

The Church of England voted in favor of a motion calling for the practice of "gay conversion therapy" to be banned by the government. The motion occurred during the organization's Synod where much of the focus was placed on updating the church's approach to sexuality, Christian Post reports.

"As the world listens to us, the world needs to hear us say that LGBT orientation and identity is not a crime," said the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. John Sentamu according to BBC News.

Sentamu is one of the most senior officials in the Church of England.

"LGBT orientation and identity is not a sickness. And LGBT orientation and identity is not a sin," he added.

"People may be able to alter their behavior, but they can never alter their innate desire," said Christian gay rights campaigner Jayne Ozanne. "Conversion therapy is harmful, dangerous and just doesn't work." 

The Synod also saw a welcome move to embrace transgender members of the church. BBC News reports that the Church of England's governing body voted to look into special services for transgender people. 

"I hope that we can make a powerful statement that we believe trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them," said Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory Church.

Despite its progressive gains, current the Church of England rules ban same-sex marriage.

 


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