I sent out an email to some friends of mine and am also posting it, very slightly edited, here; it makes a good summary to send to others:
Resolution D019 [emphasis added], modifying the canons of The Episcopal Church, has passed the House of Bishops:
“Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That Title I, Canon 17, Sec. 5 of the Canons of The Episcopal Church be hereby amended to read as follows: No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise specified by Canons.”
D002 [emphasis added], modifying the canons of The Episcopal Church, has also passed in the HOB:
“Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church be hereby amended to read as follows: No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons. No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby established.
EXPLANATION [from the resolution]
Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church states “No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons. No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby established.” This resolution would revise this canon by adding “gender identity and expression” to this list of protected categories of access, but not of right. As we continue to grow in our understanding and embrace of all human beings, it is important for us to be specific in our naming of difference. This proposed revision is based upon our increased understanding and practice to respect the human dignity of transgender people - transsexuals, and others who differ from majority societal gender norms. Gender identity (one’s inner sense of being male or female) and expression (the way in which one manifests that gender identity in the world) should not be bases for exclusion, in and of themselves, from consideration for participation in the ministries of the Church.”
You can find all the General Convention resolutions here.
[Commentary] What does this mean, practically?
Parishes who are in search processes, and who are looking for a good priest, cannot “not consider” those who “differ from majority societal gender norms” simply because of that disorder. To name two examples: those men with perfectly good xy chromosomes but who imagine that they are really women, and then undergo surgery and take hormones in order to further foster their beliefs or who simply cross-dress or otherwise “differ from majority societal gender norms” cannot be “not considered” because of that disorder in gender identity. The words “gender identity and expression” are extraordinarily broad and vague—and they are meant to encompass a variety of “expressions.”
Of course, CDO profiles that parishes receive for search processes do not have marked on them “transsexual” or “transgender.” So your search processes will receive CDO profiles and resumes of these men and women who experience serious disorders without search committees being aware of those disorders.
It also means that if a layperson with perfectly good xy chromosomes [male] or with perfectly good xx chromosomes [female] but who imagine themselves as the opposite sex, and then undergo surgery and take hormones in order to further foster their personal beliefs about themselves or who simply cross-dress or otherwise “differ from majority societal gender norms” cannot not “be considered” as a nursery volunteer or vestry member or any other part of the local parish’s leadership for which they may wish to volunteer.
Their disordered actions, something that is a pathology, barring a chromosomal or other physical disorder, cannot be a part of any decision to exclude them from consideration in any part of church leadership, whether clergy or laity. This perfectly parallels the theology and foundational worldview of those who have driven the acceptance of non-celibate, same-sex relationships as well.
It has been clear for some years now that the people leading us at the national level—90% of bishops, lay and clergy deputies to General Convention, and those serving on national commissions and committees—are not competent, healthy, or ordered in their theology or foundational worldview. It is one thing to love sinners [as we all are], and to love those with mental illness [as many of us have]. It is another thing to re-name pathologies as “good and healthy”, to enshrine those with such pathologies as leaders of a church, and to force others to pretend as if disordered affections or gender identities are functional and wholesome.
Every foolish and dysfunctional decision our leaders make at the national level has a huge effect on parishes and dioceses at the local level. Average Sunday Attendance [ASA] has plunged 23% over the past decade in The Episcopal Church and 16% just in the past five years—view the trends of the past five years here.
There is good reason for that plunge. Parishioners, clergy, parishes, and entire dioceses have left The Episcopal Church as a direct result of these unrelenting, escalatingly foolish and destructive decisions. In return, the national church has spent some $21 million to sue to recover parish property, much of which property was titled directly to the vestries of the parishes—find details of those expenditures here.
The Episcopal Church is asking for nineteen percent of the average total diocesan budget to go to this national organization—The Episcopal Church—with these leaders making these kinds of decisions. In 2012, $323,881 was budgeted to send to the national church from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina—that’s 13% of pledge income that came to the diocese from parish pledge money—view the 2012 and draft 2013 budget here.
To continue to fund this disordered, incompetent, and unhealthy agenda is to continue to fund and promote a truly ridiculous, and non-life-giving agenda that will ultimately kill our churches. There is a very very very very very very small market for the kind of “product” that the national Episcopal Church offers and that is publicized around the country as the “Episcopal Church”—and most Christians and seekers want no part of this.
For further information:
The current leaders of The Episcopal Church articulate the transgender ideology in this video[caution].