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Episcopal church affirms transgender ordination

The Episcopal Church has cleared the way to ordain transgendered people.

The Episcopal General Convention voted decisively Monday to add language to church rules that bars discrimination based on gender identity and expression.

Some Episcopal dioceses already ordain transgender priests or elect transgender lay people to positions of leadership. However, advocates for the transgendered say it’s important to explicitly state acceptance as the churchwide policy.

Episcopalians blazed a trail and caused an uproar in 2003 when they ordained the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

The vote on transgender church members came during the denomination’s national legislative meeting in Indianapolis. The convention will later discuss an official prayer for same-sex couples.

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. body of the global Anglican fellowship.

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