The first ever openly transgender priest has preached at the Washington National Cathedral, urging the LGBT community to stay strong as it works towards equality.
Reverend Cameron Partridge spoke on Sunday at the Cathedral, referring to the scriptures, following the service which included several readings and prayers from members of the LGBT community.
“We need to see one another, to be revelations to one another, to go out into the world together across our differences,” he said, “so that we might be able to show one another resources we literally may not be able to see or access on our own.”
“When Jesus tells his disciples to speak in the light, to uncover the hidden, to proclaim from the heights, he is asking them to join that stream, to become active participants in that blindingly good news,”he continued.
“Of course, Jesus also explicitly warns that not everyone would experience such revelation as good, and that some might actively persecute the disciples for it. Doing this work would be utterly demanding.”
Partridge, a chaplain at Boston University, is one of at least seven openly trans clergy in the church.
The Episcopalian church has allowed trans clergy since 2012, when it added “gender identity and expression” to its “non-discrimination canon”.
The Cathedral has been home to funerals or memorials for eight presidents, but had never before had an openly trans preacher.
Dean of the Cathedral, Reverend Gary Hall, said the service had sent “a symbolic message in support of greater equality for the transgender community.
“Cameron Partridge is a priest of great intellect, pastoral presence, and possesses a deep passion for the Gospel.”
The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, was present on Sunday, and said: “What I’ve seen over the last decade, this beloved church of ours is risking its life,” Mr. Robinson said. “The cathedral’s voice is being heard in a new and powerful way. In a sense the cathedral has come out to the world in new and bold ways.”
The 221st General Assembly of the church, which represents 2 million members, the language, voted to update the language about marriage from “a manand a woman” to “two persons”.