Thinking Anglicans

Electronic Voting Results

The detailed voting lists for the electronic votes at this month’s General Synod are now available here. They include these:

Item 12 — Conversion Therapy
Item 55 — Amendment to Item 12 (Doherty Amendment)
Item 56 — Amendment to Item 12 (Harrison Amendment)
Item 57 — Amendment to Item 56 (Baron Amendment)
Item 58 — Amendment to Item 12 (Dotchin Amendment)

Item 13 — Welcoming Transgender People
Item 59 — Amendment to Item 13 (Land Amendment)

The texts of all the above items are included in the voting lists. They are also in my summaries of Saturday’s and Sunday’s business.
Conversion Therapy [scroll down]
Welcoming Transgender People

Also available is Business Done for the July 2017 group of sessions.

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Susannah ClarkRevDaveBernard SilvermanChristina BeardsleyRichard Ashby Recent comment authors
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Ann Reddecliffe
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Ann Reddecliffe

The voting patterns are interesting, especially in light of the role of the Bishops in the new pastoral advisory group and the new teaching document group.
In the motion about Conversion Therapy – item 12 – the bishop of Coventry was the only bishop to vote against it. He, of course, is in overall charge of the new teaching document group.

Andrew Lightbown
Guest

But the Bishop of Coventry is not good with buttons. Bishop of Willesden voted against the motion for affirming transgender Christians. Isn’t he a big wig on the group charged with the new teaching document as well?

Revd Dr Charles Clapham
Guest

Can anyone shed light on why Synod voted to support the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK of November 2015, and not the second Memorandum of 16 January 2017, which appears to have been proposed by Jayne Ozanne? So far as I understand it, the second memorandum is understood to include ‘conversion’ therapy for those who identify as trans, whereas the first is concerned only for those who present as gay. I believe there is some background politics here, particularly in the Royal College of Psychiatrists who have refused to sign the second memorandum, and have been… Read more »

Revd Dr Charles Clapham
Guest

Further to my last post, I note that at the very outset of the General Synod debate, Jayne Ozanne indicated that she was willing to accept Jamie Harrison’s amendment, to support the first memorandum of understanding (which excluded trans issues) rather than the second (which included them). (I confess I haven’t yet had time to watch the entire debate.) It is also rather surprising to see that the OneBodyOneFaith website refers to this change at a ‘slight alteration’. I would have thought it was significant and highly regrettable – and against the intended aims of OneBodyOneFaith, which include the affirmation… Read more »

David Lamming
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David Lamming

Charles – I cannot speak for those who voted to support the Harrison amendment, but its terms were to replace the whole of Jane Ozanne’s original motion after the words “That this Synod”. Thus, once the Harrison amendment was passed (as it was in all three houses) it became the main motion. It was then further amended by the addition of the words proposed in the Andrew Dotchin amendment, which was also passed in all three houses. Thus it was only Jayne’s motion as so amended that was put to the final vote.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Thanks for the voting details. I did a short analysis of the Chichester votes. Conversion therapy In favour including the bishop – 5 Against 4 Abstain 3 Trans people welcome In favour including the Bishop 3 Against 5 Abstain 3 Only the bishop and two lay people voted in favour of both motions Three lay people voted against both motions One clergy person abstained on both motions Others show various combinations of abstaining and voting against. One person voted for the first motion but appeared to be absent for the second. If this indicates anything it is that people are… Read more »

Christina Beardsley
Guest

Dear Charles, the Harrison amendment was a compromise; considered likely to succeed; and closer to Jayne’s original motion than the amendment (again a replacement motion in effect) proposed by Sean Doherty. The attempt to suggest that the Royal College of Psychiatrists might have doubts about the harmful effects and ineffectiveness of conversion therapy for trans people was totally misleading and, in some cases, mischievous. If the College is so minded then it should come out and say it, but this is not going to happen given that the College produced the UK clinical guidance on the treatment of trans people… Read more »

Bernard Silverman
Guest
Bernard Silverman

If I’ve counted correctly, 35 laity and 17 clergy voted against both substantive motions. That the laity tallies were identical (127-48) for both motions is something of a coincidence.

RevDave
Guest
RevDave

I think part of the reason for adopting the earlier motion is that it was addressing a very specific form of psychological treatment that was found to have been used in abusive ways. However, in reality, people’s perceived gender identity and sexual attractions do change – especially in teenagers and women in their twenties (although it is also not unknown for middle-aged men to discover they are gay). So although these motions rightly condemn abuse, they are also to some extent an assertion of value-judgements regarding the moral equivalence between cis- and trans- identities, and between hetero- and homo- sexual… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Dave, Attempting to ‘convert’ somebody back to their gender assigned at birth, when that is not their correct gender identity, is one of the most psychologically brutal things you can do to a human being… all the more so, if wrapped up and motivated by religious and moralistic dogma. Just imagine if someone pressurised *you* to acknowledge you were a woman, and pressured you to live and dress as a woman for the rest of our life. Having said that, yes, some people’s exploration of their gender identity can be fluid, especially in the formative years of youth. I know.… Read more »

RevDave
Guest
RevDave

Hi Susannah, I think we are agreeing on most things (I did agree that the psychological technique referred to as “conversion therapy” was found to have been used abusively). I know two people who have transitioned, so I know that gender dysphoria is a miserable condition that can cause terrible distress. Where I would disagree with you is that I do not think there is a simple solution. I guess you too know that many if not most people who transition still struggle with identity and other psychological issues, even in the most liberal social settings. Part of the problem… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Dear Dave, I’m grateful for your reply, and its decent intent, and careful thought and reflection. Also, I fully respect people who disagree with gender transition. If I seek respect, I ought to respect other people’s right to conscientious belief (providing they’re not abusive) – it’s a fundamental principle. I have, through a support network, probably engaged with about 200 people who have transitioned. Not all seek surgery. Not all even see themselves as exclusively one gender. But the majority of the people I’ve been involved with *have* undergone gender surgery as part of a social and physical transition. Of… Read more »