The bishops of England and Wales are asking for an exemption from new equality laws that could force them to ordain transsexuals as priests or allow them to become nuns.
The bishops said proposals to ban “indirect discrimination” against people who have had gender reassignment operations would take away their right to check baptismal and confirmation certificates which would show if candidates for the priesthood, religious life or marriage had a hidden past, reports the London Times.
“Many Christians believe, on strongly held religious grounds, that gender is given before birth and cannot be changed,” Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff reportedly said.
The government plans to change the law so that such records are altered when a person has such an operation. The bishops are asking that the Catholic Church be exempt from such a law. However, the government’s track record on giving the Church exemptions has not been good. Earlier this year, the government refused to give the Church an exemption from its new adoption law which make it illegal to prevent homosexuals from adopting children. (CNA coverage here)