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Church of England gives blessing for transgender marriages but same-sex couples' weddings remain barred

Church of England gives blessing for transgender marriages but same-sex couples' weddings remain barred
Couples born as same sex but one had officially changed gender could apply
Weddings between bride and grooms who have both sex change can go ahead
Comes as official figures showed the number of people attending church fell

23 October 2018

The Church of England has sounded its support for transgender men and women to marry in church.

Couples where the bride and groom were born into the same sex can have church weddings as long as one has an official gender recognition certificate for their acquired gender, its leaders said.

Weddings between brides and grooms who have both changed sex can also go ahead as long as both have the legal recognition.

The announcement was made by the CofE in response to Theresa May's efforts to liberalise the laws that govern sex changes and gender identity. It was approved by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and follows a vote last year in the General Synod to 'both welcome and affirm transgender people'.

Same-sex couples remain barred but it has been possible for transgender people to wed in church since the 2004 Gender Recognition Act came into force. Clergy may choose not to conduct the service but may not prevent a couple from being married in his or her church by another minister.

The number of people who attended Sunday services in Church of England cathedrals slipped last year, according to figures published yesterday.

There were 18,100 people at services held by the 42 cathedrals on a typical Sunday, down from 18,700 in 2016.


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